Now the criminal is the reporterWhen NBC allowed Cho to report on his own crime, we just went further down a slippery slope to where crime and media will be totally indistinguishable.
The problem I have with airing the Cho video is different than most -- I think it is a horrible precedent that NBC has allowed the criminal to also be a primary reporter on his own crime.
Call me old school, but I think it is important that the media draw a clear line between the criminals and the media who report on them.
Right wing media has blurred this distinction almost from its beginning with G. Gordon Liddy.
I believe in redemption and I can accept that a media personality can have an arrest in his past -- Larry King for instance but passing a bad check, as Larry King did, is one thing. Conservative media criminals like Liddy, Oliver North and Mark Fuhrman used their perjury (or other misdeeds) to launch their media careers.
Making criminals reporters was the slippery slope but Liddy/North/Fuhrman were at least not reporting on their own crimes.
But when NBC aired the Seung-Hui Cho videos, they allowed the criminal to be a reporter on his own crime. This is further slide down the slippery slope.
It's not the most obvious line to cross because Cho was a such a horrible reporter. But he was a reporter, nevertheless: he committed (and witnessed!) the crime; he set up his camera and shot the footage about the crime; he submitted it to the media; and they aired it. Seems exactly like a reporter to me.
The next step down this slippery slope is when rational, calculating criminals start submitting their reports to the media which they will air.
Don't think it will happen? Just wait.