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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

NBC Issues Statement; Rationalizes It's Foolish Decision

Hugh Hewitt reports their statement:

NBC News issued the following statement Thursday in regard to the materials it received from the gunman in the Virginia Tech shootings:

The pain suffered by the Virginia Tech community and indeed the entire country is immeasurable.

Upon receiving the materials from Cho Seung-Hui, NBC News took careful consideration in determining how the information should be distributed. We did not rush the material onto air, but instead consulted with local authorities, who have since publicly acknowledged our appropriate handling of the matter. Beginning this morning, we have limited our usage of the video across NBC News, including MSNBC, to no more than 10 percent of our airtime.

Our Standards and Policies chief reviewed all material before it was released. One of our most experienced correspondents, Pete Williams, handled the reporting. We believe it provides some answers to the critical question, "why did this man carry out these awful murders?" The decision to run this video was reached by virtually every news organization in the world, as evidenced by coverage on television, on Web sites and in newspapers. We have covered this story — and our unique role in it — with extreme sensitivity, underscored by our devoted efforts to remember and honor the victims and heroes of this tragic incident. We are committed to nothing less.

The investigators and authorities thanked NBC for handing over the information that was sent to them, but they have not praised them for "their handling of the situation." Were that so, Colonel Flaherty would not have stated this to the press:

Virginia state police superintendent Col. Steven Flaherty told reporters he was "disappointed" that news outlets around the world broadcast photos and a video manifesto compiled by the gunman.

Flaherty said that the material, while horrific and disturbing, gave authorities little information beyond what they had already collected.

"I'm sorry that you were all exposed to these images," Flaherty said.

Does that sound like the authorities are saying NBC did a good job in handling the release of the manifesto? No, it sounds like NBC is trying to play the spin game to excuse themselves from any sort repercussions. As for answers, both Thomas and I have noted today that there is not a single piece of information released in the manifesto that offers a explanation as to why he decided to kill his fellow students. There is no rationalization in the diatribe, the pictures, or the video he sent NBC; authorities have backed up that fact. They have said that there is little to be gleaned from the manifesto itself. It is full of hate and rage, and contempt for a world that he clearly does not like living in any longer.

Their "sensitivity" in handling the manifesto was made evident this morning when family members of the slain told the Today Show that they would not appear on the show this monring:

Some family members of the victims killed at Virginia Tech university canceled interviews with NBC on Thursday because the television network aired video and photographs of the killer it received in the mail.
Police handling the investigation into the shooting also expressed disappointment at the airing of the images and rants by Cho Seung-Hui, who killed 32 people and then himself in the worst shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.

"We had planned to speak to some family members of victims this morning but they canceled their appearances because they were very upset with NBC for airing the images," said NBC "Today" morning program co-host Meredith Vieira.

Good for them. Bad for NBC. This decision -- one they claim they labored over -- has blown up in their face. A week after Don Imus blew up on them, and now this. What was likely seen as a "winner" decision has hurt them severely. People are not happy they showed the images and spent most of the evening harping on the story. Hugh makes a serious point about their idea thast they did not rush this story or their decision to run it:

It is also simply not true to state that the network did not rush when it acted within hours to lead its main newscast with it. It built the ratings and then it ran the material. It had not yet released the name of anyone outside the network it consulted. If that isn't a rush, then we need a new definition of rush. Again, you get a glimpse into the self-deceit at work in the network.

Lastly, NBC claims that other networks were running with the story, yet they fail to note that they started the media avalanche. FOX, CNN, ABC, CBS, and other outlets around the world did not receive similar packages in the mail. Only NBC did, and when they decided to air it, they exposed it for all to see; this prompted the other outlets to jump on board in the ever-present rat race of media coverage. Wall-to-wall nausea for hour after hour last night does not excuse the other outlets who will likely claim "we were just reporting the news."

As with our rights enumerated under the Constitution, there comes a responsibility in one's own actions. Freedom of the Press is nice; it is integral for our free society. But the press cannot simply report something, and then back away from its obligation to present facts rather than blatant, sickening salaciousness. They had a job to present facts, but they did not need to act int he fashion they did, and ram this garbage down the public's throat especially when it served no real purpose whatsoever other than to shock viewers.



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