Liberal Grace

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Now the criminal is the reporter

When 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,external link 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.

5 comment(s):

You know, I don't totally agree. Here's why - I think there would have also been complaints if the video hadn't been shown, because people would have thought it was being kept a secret and they would want to see it to uncover why he did it. It's hard to see that in retrospect, but I honestly believe just as many people would have complained had they not shown it.

Also, I think NBC did a good job warning people they were going to show the video before they actually showed it. I also think it would have been much, much worse for them to show it weeks or months later (if people demanded to see it) because it would have brought back the memories.

I'm not necessarily happy about it either, but I do think they had to show it - if for no other reason than it was not "uncovered" by them, giving them a choice whether or not to even obtain the video - it was sent to them.

Anyway, that's my two cents. I welcome your thoughts.

By Librocrat, at 6:20 PM  

Thanks for the comments -- all valid.

I'm a media guy, myself, and I feel strongly that the news agencies should not allow criminals to report on their own crimes.

Any media (videos/written/audio etc) that a criminal sends to a news agency should be passed directly to law enforcement who can chose what to do with it. (I don't think NBC would have been criticized much for that.)

Otherwise this trend is going to get ugly and perverse, very fast.

By LiberalGrace, at 2:17 AM  

I agree with your last poster, I think NBC should have not copied the tape and let law enforcement deal with the public demand to see it for themselves.

Mark Fuhrman is not a criminal, his Perjury was appealed and accepted. Did he kill someone, rape someone, rob a bank, gang bang someone, could you please clarify what exactly Mark Fuhrman did that makes him a criminal? Saying the "N" word into a microphone for his then girlfriend Laura Hart McKinny? Oh, then I guess Al Sharpton, Senator Robert Byrd and Bill Clinton should be considered criminals too for either perjuring themselves or saying the :N: word. C'mon get a grip.

By Sunny, at 9:30 AM  

Thanks for the comment, Sunny. I wondered if someone was going to question me on the Fuhrman point.

We all heard Fuhrman purger himself. I can't imagine why he would have been let-go for that.

Fuhrman -- under oath -- emphatically denied ever using the "n-word". You heard him.

But, not only did he use that word, he used it many times and on tape!

(His bold-faced lie, I believe, created the reasonable doubt that got OJ, off. Thank you Mark Fuhrman)

One would presume that a people who became famous for lying wouldn't get prominent jobs in the media -- but Fox has certainly changed that.

By LiberalGrace, at 11:49 PM  


I was perplexed that Fuhrman would be let-go for perjury so I did a quick check:

With the jury absent on September 6, 1995, Fuhrman was asked questions as to whether or not he had ever falsified police reports or if he had planted or manufactured evidence in the Simpson case and he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Fuhrman later pled no contest to a perjury charge and was sentenced to probation and fined $200.

By LiberalGrace, at 11:52 PM  

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