Did we learn anything useful during the spate of interviews of Charlie Manson years ago, except that he was one crazy motherfucker? Cho's pathetic outpourings deserved to be put back where they came from--in a small room, with FBI guys sentenced to read/see and parse them Instead, a hundred thousand self-pitying mentally ill young men (and women?) have just been shown the road to glory one more time. ...
I'm sure there are things we all have learned from Cho's promo-pack (the most important of which is that he compiled it and sent it off). What I doubt is that these are things we couldn't learn 98% as well by hearing, say, Pete Williams tell us what's in the videos and photos, rather than seeing the videos themselves.... P.S.: The only thing NBC will understand, I suspect, is if it either loses viewers or if someone (Williams? Capus?) loses their job. [But at NBC they promote you if you fail (i.e. Zucker)-ed Good point! So a ratings decline by itself won't do the job.] ... 12:53 P.M.
Business Week's Jon Fine actually uses the phrase"the genius of TimesSelect" in his latest column. Very troubling. ... 11:56 A.M.
The Imus affair does look kind of small in retrospect, doesn't it? Remind yourself just how small with blogger N. Ephron's excellent, v-meta post. Free sample:
Another reason I didn't write about Imus, incidentally, is that by mid-week, the entry level into the Imus-commentary sweepstakes changed, and since I do not have two daughters, much less two beautiful black daughters, I was ineligible to comment on how Imus' remarks would deeply affect them (if they were old enough to read) or had already affected them so much that they would probably never recover. I might even have made the mistake of talking about Imus' "victims," when actually the victims were the only true winners of the week, and by the way, how bad can it be for the victims that they were insulted by a lunatic but then got to be on Oprah?
Thursday, Ap ril 19, 2007
Is the wrong party dissatisfied with its presidential candidates? I think so. ... 4:19 P.M.
Isn't Michael Ledeen right--NBC shouldn't have shown that video. It seems less like an "ethical challenge" than a no-brainer. Why encourage other potential Cho's to try for a similar publicity bonanza? This isn't a Unabomber like case where publicizing a killer's electronic media kit might help identify him. We already know who did it. ... Ethics pontificators like Tom Rosenstiel seem to be lining up to praise how "sensitive" NBC was. Sensitive to the potential future murder victims. Sensitive to ratings. They struck a difficult balance! They walked a fine line! They split the difference. ... NBC's responsibility seems especially heavy since, as the sole recipient of Cho's posthumous publicity kit, they had the power to keep it bottled up and deny him the reward he sought, no? That's not usually the case--i.e., when a killer is still at large or communicates through multiple media outlets.**... P.S.:Who did more damage, Brian Williams or Don Imus? That seems like a no-brainer too. ... Backfill: See also Stephen Spruiell. ... Update: Virginia state police superintendent is "disappointed in the editorial decision," according to a Reuters site that also displays the video (which is why I don't feel like linking to it.) ... See also bloggingheads' discussion. ... More: L.A. cop Jack Dunphy:
None of them will ever admit this publicly, of course, but in the safety of their corner offices at Rockefeller Center sit men and women who are privately gleeful at the ratings boost they were given in the form of the box that landed in their mail room Wednesday morning.
If NBC hadn't run the video, future mass murderers might send their ratings-boosters to CBS. (I'm not saying NBC execs consciously made this calculation, but it's built into the standard reporter-source algorithm that if you give sources what they want, more will come. And it's true.) ...