Virginia Tech and social media: some questions for newsrooms

April 19, 2007

Mourning girls at Virginia Tech******The tragic events at Virginia Tech earlier this week will take their own place in U.S. history. Alongside the Asian Tusnami and London’s 7/7 bombings, the reporting of them may also come to be seen as a defining moment in participatory or citizen journalism. I was struck by a number of issues newsrooms had to confront.******Does mainstream media’s promotion of citizen journalism encourage risk-taking?***The iconic video from Jamal Albarghouti — was submitted to CNNs i-reports citizen journalism project. Widely lauded, it nevertheless led observers including lhe Philadelphia Daily News’ Ellen Gray to ask whether the lure of recognition by traditional media is prompting citizens to take unnecessary risks.******Is there a risk of repeating unfounded rumours found on the social web?***Facebook the social networking site which focuses on students was the forum for many tributes to those killed. And friends struggling to make contact via phone were able to check whether students were OK via their Facebook pages. But social networking sites like Facebook were used by bloggers attempting to establish the identity of the killer and a Virginia Tech student whose online profile in LiveJournal graphically illustrated his penchant for guns, found himself the target of much abuse. Wired made the observation that mainstream media had not named the accused but this changed when he later turned to traditional media to clear his name.******Does the advent of social media render censoring of material on the grounds of taste irrelevant?***NBC agonised over screening parts of the killer’s ‘multimedia manifesto’ and attracted criticism. But seasoned bloggers like Dave Winer point out the tendency for such material to end up on the Web eventually anyway. Winer advocates allowing citizens to make up their own minds whether to watch or not.******How should journalists handle requests to use material from social media?***On photo-sharing site Flickr a Virginia Tech Shooting pool was set up attracting a number of media enquiries about access to the images. If, as in this case, media requests are made via comments in discussions or blogs, the interested reader can see the newsgathering process in the raw. Journalists leave highly visible footprints and are going to have to learn to step lightly.******Are blogs and social networking sites ‘fair game’ for journalists looking for quotes?***The BBCs Robin Harman, whose personal blog is widely followed by journalists, was one of the first to start compiling eyewitness accounts from blog entries. Some of those he sampled found themselves being contacted directly by journalists for interviews, and some found that objectionable. Robin admits to being shaken by the experience and advocates greater sensitivity among journalists to what should be considered private at such times.******Do journalists have the skills to harness social media?***Amid the profusion of content sources and the huge volume of comment, Shane Richmond, community editor for the U.K.s Daily Telegraph, likened seeking original sources to looking for a needle in a haystack and references Paul Bradshaw‘s call for journalists to become proficient in Technorati, YouTube and their like.******I’m not sure about the answers, I’m certain the questions aren’t going away. What do you think?***Mark Jones is Reuters Global Community Editor******Photo credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Comments

The question is whether the extensive news coverage, particularly by FOX, MSNBC, and CNN embolden other Cho-like individuals to committ similar or worse atrocities in order to gain the noteriety Cho has.

Posted by Mark Ford | Report as abusive
 

Yeah! It’s our fault that the lunatic killed himself.Too bad not all losers take such easy ways out, although the loss of other lives is very tragic.Can we move on now, please…news media…?come on, Sanjaya lost last night. Let’s cover that now, please? Anything else…please?

Posted by Rock Ocasek | Report as abusive
 

Why are we not equally saddened by the loss of American and Iraqi life in Iraq?

 

Whenever something like this happens I am reminded of the Don Henley song “Dirty Laundry” (http://www.lyricsfreak.com/d/don+henley  /dirty+laundry_20042033.html) when I think of the media.

Posted by David T | Report as abusive
 

We are just idolizing these crazies. Next time it will be worst and the cycle of violence will continue. There’s nothing you can do to stop someone that is willing to give their life. Proven in Iraq!

Posted by Jiz | Report as abusive
 

With regard to whether digital ubiquity of material on one medium (the Internet) changes the news editing criteria on another (television):The answer cannot be “anything goes” because “all bets are off.”Responsible people have an obligation to act responsibly. Only children argue that they should be allowed to do something because Billy can.Does the medium matter? Of course. I can avoid anything I want on the Internet (even video, which I must select proactively play). But unless I am quick on the remote-draw or TiVo everything, TV immerses me in what its programmers want me to experience.It used to be that news organizations risked doing irresponsible things for competitive reasons against only other news organizations — ABC has the tape so CBS might as well run with it. Bad enough. Now the argument is extended to the point that if it is on YouTube, it is fair game.So why are news organizations not showing enemy videos of US forces being blown up, plentiful on the Internet, while simultaneously complaining that they can’t take pictures of body bags of our returning dead?There may be a good answer why the Cho video has news value and blown up coalition forces do not. But that is the debate I want to hear — not the shrug, the upturned hands and the “Well, what can we do?”

 

I think the media should have said that a manifesto was found, then left it at that. Giving Cho a platform and showing others that that is how their voices can be heard borders on irresponsibility. Also, if the media lets Cho’s ramblings overshadow the fact that congress is finally getting testimony from Gonzales today – something many of us have been waiting a long time to hear – then they have failed to notice the historical implications of the unraveling of the administration’s web of deceit.

Posted by Patty P | Report as abusive
 

when this happens again, i predict that the same exact methodology (ie using the media) will be utilized. This, as a media experiment, was unfortunately a raging success, as im sure Cho would agree. This can easily be avoided by not airing such absurd “manifestos”. But it seems ratings are far more important than lives…

Posted by don | Report as abusive
 

The media outlets should be ashamed of themselves. All they have managed to do is once again glorify the ramblings of a lunatic. Does anyone feel more informed after seeing the videos, photos or writings of this nut? Absolutely not!!! Take the stuff off the air. All it is doing is giving him the notoriety that he so desired. Here’s an editorial idea, why don’t the media organizations take a long hard look at how they are exploiting tragedy and glorifying the killers and creating a social environment that breeds killers like this. Americans have this need for celebrity status and the news organizations are just feeding into this frenzy by glorifying every nutcase out there. Just report the news and move on.

Posted by David F | Report as abusive
 

I see no redeeming value in airing the shocking video portraying the abnormal, violent behavior of this killer. Not only is it supremely disrespectful to the victims families and the Virginia Tech community, but it only gives widespread encouragement to other people who are unbalanced and may be urged now to act on their impulses. I don’t think the “public’s right to now” is served well at all with this coverage.

Posted by debbie mcfalone | Report as abusive
 

It seems as if the lure of the media coverage was an incentive for this killer to follow through on his mission. The coverage also approaches the criminal as a monster, rather than an individual who’s mental illness was triggered and exaggerated by societal values. The popularity of first shooter video games is an example of a societal phenomona which provides an outlet for the ‘sane’ persons agression and anger. Why is it that the source of this anger is not addressed as news? Generations born in the 80′s and beyond do not know an American culture not dominated by corporate homogenity. The press should take the opportunity to report on the issues which induce the illness. As with preventitive medicine, the power of the voice and the focus of investigation can either heal or harm. Rather than taking initiative, the press has become both an echo and a leader in the perpetuation of the negative, a mere amplifier. The question of objectivity is a responsibility and is interwoven with the point from which the situiation is viewed.

Posted by ABEY | Report as abusive
 

PLEASE GET RID OF THOSE SICK IMAGES & VIDEO CLIPS OF THE VIRGINIA-TECH GUNMAN. WE DON’T NEED ANY MORE OF GROTESQUE MANIAC PULLING ANOTHER TRIGGER. WE’RE BEGGING YOU & NBC TO RECONSIDER PUTTING THOSE IMAGES ON THE WEB OR TV. IT’S SICKENING TO OUR SOCIETIES AND CHILDREN, ESPECIALLY. WE JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND WHERE YOUR RATIONALITIES ARE WHEN DECIDING TO AIR OR WEB THOSE CLIPS. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

 

What goes through the mind of the Media executives who undoubtedly met at each news organization prior to releasing this boy killers (he is no man)message to the world. Can you imagine seeing a picture of this individual pointing a gun at you after being involved or having lost a child? Can you imagine having your family members murderer get his two minutes in the sun via the blood hungry news organizations. This is not news, this is the enabling of a mad man in some misguided effort to understand what cannot be understood. The News Media in general has reached a new low as it continues to air parts of the murderers death message. As if the story without this infomation or the extrapolation of this information void pictures was not sufficient. The media decides to further horrify the students of VT and the parents and family suffering a horrible existence today. I am tired of the News Medias Vampire tendencies. Where there is death also must roam birth. Good and evil are equally compelling stories, why such a lust for death and blood. This story should have been squashed short of allowing this murderer to have his insane say-so. Blood thirsty News Media executives should be ashamed and perhaps will face the swing of the karmic hammer as a personal wound will have salt poured directly upon it. Shameful use of catastrophe to pump up ratings for a greater share of advertising revenue. Inhuman, unethical and socially destructive.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive
 

So NBC Broadcasts this tape willy nilly (thereby setting the stage for copy-cat killers).But airing similar tapes of al Qaeda touting identical objectives is deemed too gruesome for Americans?The reason for this apparent conundrum? Airing the Cho tapes would add weight to the anti-gun lobby – a left wing agenda item. However airing the al Qaeda tapes is not in the interests of leftist philosophy – airing al Qaeda tapes would enrage Americans thereby adding support for the global war on terror.

Posted by Grant | Report as abusive
 

I believe that those who are grieving should get the coverage – to honor and remember those who were lost and to grieve with them and support them. The less coverage we give the culprit, the better – except that we all naturally want to know, “why?”

Posted by Jen | Report as abusive
 

I think the news media ought to be ashamed of themselves. There is absolutely no good reason why this sorry individual’s message should be broadcast even once, let alone repeatedly for days. To play the video and show the pictures while reporting on how the sight of these images have upset nearly everyone touched by this tragedy just adds to the lunacy of the thinking of the media in this country. Why not show video and writings of the victims instead? Perhaps because those would not boost ratings? A radio talk show host’s bad joke was an outrage, but broadcasting the rantings of a lunatic mass-mmurderer is acceptable? I find it all extremely hypocritical.

Posted by Eric | Report as abusive
 

I think it’s horrible! The media is giving him, the physco, exactly what he wanted! Airing his tape was in very bad taste! He wanted to be the “victim”, be famous and influence other disturbed individuals by glamourizing what he did! How many Copy Cats will spring up? I believe that there is one already in NC who brought a gun to school but only shot himself! The media feeds on these things for ratings and it is wrong! I glad that the families of the victim have refused NBC’s interviews, they don’t really care they are just exploiting them for ratings.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive
 

Only 32 shot dead, and this is big news? That is the equivalent of a slow day in Baghdad. Over 3200 US soldiers, many college age kids, have been killed. Where is the outrage? Does the media focus on this Virginia tech killer and victims because they have video, where as the Department of Defense doesn’t allow them video of our dead soldiers.

Posted by Rodney Lamprey, jr. | Report as abusive
 

This travesty doesn’t really compare on a global scale to what is happening in Iraq and elsewhere, that is a given.I’m still completely disgusted that NBC chose to release those hate-filled video’s and torment the victims families on broadcast TV day and night. It’s purely evil and wrong in a moral sense from my viewpoint.But then again, my viewpoint is skewed. I grew up, lived 23 years in Blacksburg. No one wants their hometown to be turned into some sort of Serial Killer tourist stop.

 

If the video and images released by NBC contained images of the actual atrocities being commited, then I see why this is so controversial. The edited for TV version of the Matrix is more offensive than this video. If Cho didnt kill himself and he was brought to justice, would anyone be opposed to new networks covering his court testimony? The video is letting us know why it is he did what he did. It allows the public to evaluate what went wrong here, so that we as a society can actually do something about it instead of just figuring out what we are going to do when it happens again. Furthermore, I think even worse than NBC are the other news networks who are starting their newcasts off showing the same images and portions of video and following it up with a news story on how showing these videos is wrong and inappropriate.

Posted by Brian Goegan | Report as abusive
 

IN REPLY TO GRANT–Your comparison of bloodshed for various means to a political end is the issue at its core. Your comparison is fundamentally flawed. Do Al Qaeda victim families (freedom fighters though they may be considered) have the same rights as the innocent slaughtered at VT? Your comparison is without compassion and an irrelevant tangent.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive
 

SCUM, that is what the folks at NBC are for not only airing this but most likely selling the photographs and videos to other networks. I know they don’t pass that stuff around for free. Way to make money off of a bunch of slain American college kids. As long as NBC and other forms of media get their ratings nothing else in this country matters. Not much surprises me anymore in this country and especially with the media and lack of compassion and taste for good journalism. Please explain to us and the families who lost their children how the video of that FREAK is news. We’d love to hear it. SCUM

Posted by Ja Buff | Report as abusive
 

Besides the repeated showing of the video and related images, what I find most distressing is the media’s belief that the images will cause no harm, but that vulgarities (swear words) uttered by Cho are offensive. In the video Cho clearly uses swear words which are “bleeped” out in an effort to protect us, the public. WHat would have happened if Cho had made Imus-like utterances?

Posted by Hubble Q | Report as abusive
 

NBC is just giving the white trash, I mean people what they want. As far as those offended by it all, there is a power button on that remote. You do have a free will. The media is just a reflection of the trash we have become.

 

It’s such a fine line that the media has to walk in situations like this. On the one hand, the more notoriety killers receive, the more others will fantasize about it. On the other hand, the video of the killer helps educate people on the mindset involved.It seems that the country is fairly divided on whether it was appropriate or inappropriate to air the video. What does this say about us?

 

Media of all description appear to be falling all over themselves trying to blast this pathetic man’s story into the personal sphere of anyone unfortunate enough to be exposed to newsprint, TV, radio or internet. Their shared insensitivity is hugely offensive to those of us who realize there is a logical limit to how much of this garbage we can countenance. Editors and news directors are abdicating their responsibilities to provide “news we can use” as opposed to hyper graphic violence pandering.

 

IT’s the money, honey. Sex and violence sells.

Posted by T Nichol | Report as abusive
 

no offense to the victoms and their families, but the media really reached a new low.3 days into this “blood bath” expose’ and 170 people die by the hand of crazy man and all they get is a 3 minute spot on the news! 5.3 times as many people die and all the media does is wallow for 4 days over 32?someone’s priority’s are seriously messed up!enough already move on

Posted by frank | Report as abusive
 

I think that this horrific event has to be talked about for a few days at least to give folks time to attempt to absorb it somehow. People need to time to at least attempt to pick things apart and finally figure out that there wasn’t much that could be done. But folks have to go through the process.

 

I found CNN’s Nancy Grace to be predictably irresponsible. At a time of tragedy, the last thing that everyone needs is a self-righteous, bullying commentator pointing the finger at various people and institutions saying Blame them! Blame them! Its their fault! and harassing anyone who dared not to agree. It was appalling to watch her interview students, fishing for angry, vindictive statements and sound-bites that she dearly wanted and didnt get, I might add. The Virginia Tech students, as young as they were and after what they had been through, showed far more dignity, restraint and class than could ever be expected of Nancy.

Posted by Ralph Golding | Report as abusive
 

So my request is for the media outlets, such as Reuters, to at least pull down the “FrontPage” images of the 9mm pointing straight at the readership. On the Reuters homepage, there are two of these images – one at the top & the second in the video section.I mean really…you want to have conversation about media effects and you point a (figurative) gun at us?There were too many other images Reuters could be using. If a person clicks thru and finds this “9mm pointing” picture, I’m okay with that. But to put it on the homepage is just silly. Grow up already

Posted by Wade | Report as abusive
 

I am truly shocked by MSNBC and NBC, its parent company. I have been upset for some time at their sloppy bias in presenting the “news”. The release of this value-less evidence was heartless and completely irresponsible. I’ve turned them off for GOOD!!!

Posted by Chris G | Report as abusive
 

The Media seems to “enjoy” a good killing. They never take into account the victims family’s and how they feel. My daughter was going to collage to become a journalist. But after witnessing the actions of the media, she said there was no way she was going to add to the manic feeding frenzy that has become “The Media.” It use to be that the role of the media was to tell just the facts as it came. But now they have become more like a Quentin Tarantino film . Campy and full of blood and gore. The media has become a joke and a intimation of the so-called entertainment industry.

Posted by Lilly | Report as abusive
 

It’s very simple. We should never refer to the individual by name. He should be given a reference number. Idiot # (fill in the blank) works for me, though I wouldn’t be opposed to Psycho # or Freak # either.Frankly, I place a lot of this one on the school. They obviously knew he was disturbed. Why didn’t they boot him out? Had they revoked his visa he wouldn’t even have been here to kill those kids. The worst crime is that he snuffed out so many bright and promising lights.

Posted by SevenOfNine | Report as abusive
 

Wade is right as rain. I changed my Home Page to avoid seeing a manic murderer everytime I logged on.Last year, many marveled at the dignity and forgiveness exhibited by the Amish when their children were murdered. VTech provides the perfect opportunity for the media to take the high road, too. Show the public you will NOT provide the soap box for a criminal’s twisted messages and motives. In doing so, you just might earn the public’s respect and disuade a copycat killer from trying to set a new record.

Posted by Kelly C | Report as abusive
 

how irresposible and foolish ( or maybe too ruthless and insensitive to be exact) can these news media be??!!! i am disgusted to the bottom of my soul by these media people..HOW CAN THEY POST THE PHOTOS OF THIS COWARD, MANIAC, POINTING GUN AFTER WHAT HE HAS DONE…does the news media have any sense?On CNN website this coward’s photo was front page in the exact attire he did the killing for ALMOST ALL EVENING AND NIGHT ….. i could not even look at it.. it was so DISGUSTING…it is as if .. the media czars wants us to re live this again and again..utterly irresposible on the part of media…they should have just given this coward murderer’s material to the mental doctors and police and spared us this utterly lowest form of communication from this scum…MSNBC has acted totally irresposible…We have no fear…We love our freedom…We love our countryGod bless America..

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

I am a NY public middle school teacher and do not normally watch television M-F. When my students came in this morning, I sat there in shock, not knowing what to say, because I didn’t know what they had seen. These kids (11-14 yrs)were actually excited about seeing this and couldn’t stop talking about it. Saddam Hussein’s execution produced similar results. Now I am grappling with the idea of having to watch and read to help my students.I don’t think we adults fully stop to think about what kids are exposed to and how they process information. The reasoning part of the brain is not fully formed until adulthood.I was also appalled to see the shooter posing with his weapons on the front cover of our local paper (that is delivered to our students).I’m not for cencorship, I just feel we have lost common sense–and our dignity along with it.

Posted by Linda S | Report as abusive
 

I would give some credibility to Loren Coleman:The Copycat Effect, a book in which he explores thepossibilties of copy-cat acting as well as suicidekillers.It is really like he describes the spreading of thenews of school shootings without even mentioningspreading all over the world (I leave in Ireland).It’s quite possible that one or the other getsinspired to do likewise.

Posted by Joseph | Report as abusive
 

This is totally incorrigible and irresponsible. NBC has just assured the next copycat shooter that he will get his grievances heard if he manages to kill 33 innocent people next time. The responsible thing to do would have been to make mention of this drivel he left and then turn it over to the police who are still investigating. I will no longer watch NBC.

Posted by Allan | Report as abusive
 

This is just another example of irresponsible journalism. I am sure Jerry Springer and Maury will be waiting in the wings to offer their brand of journalistic justice to the general public.

Posted by John Harris | Report as abusive
 

I do not think it is realistic to expect NBC to not make publicly available contents of the package they received.I would even argue that NBC’s actions served the public good in that it answered many questions about who this person was and gave insight into this person’s mental state.I believe this was necessary so that the nation could get a handle on what and why this happened and each of us could make an assessment on what the chances of it happening again are.

Posted by Scott | Report as abusive
 

Virginia Massacre and Other TragediesThe recent tragic events in Virginia require some comment. The death toll in this suicide massacre was around 33 people including the killer. This is the equivalent of an every day suicide bombing in Iraq, and to the families of victims they are equally tragic. Unfortunately, the attention paid to these events by the media is quite disparate. A similar suicide related death toll in Baghdad hardly rates a mention. This calls into question considerations of the relative values of a human life in the eyes of the media.It should also be noted that one of the prime motivations for this type of massacre is the probability of posthumous publicity. The killer in Virginia certainly got his dividend. It really is time for the media to examine their competitive motivation in the amount of prurient publicity given to these tragic events. There is a strong probability of a linkage between frequency and magnitude of these events, and the publicity provided by compliant media eager to outsell their rivals and maximise their associated advertising revenue.

Posted by Greg Angelo | Report as abusive
 

I was astonished last night to see wall-to-wall exposure of the killer’s publicity kit on MSNBC. Suppose I were to rig myself up in a gaudy outfit, parade around with guns or a funny mask, then mail my DVD to NBC. Would my egotistical films and photos get air time? Would I finally have my 15 minutes?Of course not. In order to pass the NBC audition, I would first have to kill at least a couple of dozen young people. Then my self-glorification would go out on endless loops for hours and days, ready for teenagers and young adults all over the country, and even in other parts of the world, to use as a template for their next emotional crisis.NBC, I am so disappointed. Your decision to retain Keith Olbermann and to support his political statements has been so heartening. But this is despicable.

 

Here we go again. Media comes out with story solely for “shock and awe” value with video of this lunatic, then sits back and claims to have “agonized” over whether or not to show it. Once again ratings trump sensitivity for the victims’ families, the Va.Tech community and those of us who sincerely hope this SOB spends eternity in hell. His mental illness isn’t the issue-32 of our best and brightest are gone for no reason.

Posted by Jim Whitlock | Report as abusive
 

Media needs to police itself quickly and remove (censure) the irresponsible people of it’s own accord. Or face a change that they don’t want. (i.e.) Change in the law regarding the constitution’s “freedom” of the press. What a concept. You idiots are a waste of my time.

Posted by D.Taylor | Report as abusive
 

On the one hand I applaud that the victims have received faces and stories so quickly. That was a lesson we learned in 9/11, the importance of testifying to what has been lost, and the newsmedia have applied it well here.On the other hand the media seems irresponsible in the airing of Cho’s images and words. Killers can be frighteningly memorable. Cho himself was clearly influenced by the Columbine killers. I also suspect he may have been influenced by that earlier mass killer, Samuel Comstock of the whaleship Globe, whose ax took the lives of his captain and crew in retaliation for what Comstock perceived as poor treatment. His murderous cries that night, “I am the bloody man; I have the bloody hand!” may have been in Cho’s mind too, if Ishmael/Ismail Ax is indeed the Melvillean allusion it seems to be [the Globe being one of the main stories informing Moby-Dick's events.] With copycatting a proven syndrome, the media must be more responsible about their role in the transmission of such stories and images.

Posted by J.D. | Report as abusive
 

Jesus! C’mon people…do we not allow anyting “unpleasant” to be said or displayed? Who is going to decide what is “ok” and not? Does anyone here understand why the Constitution exists? So we ignore, or coverup what was in htis kids head until the next one comes along? Don’t you think it is important to “know” what is behind these kinds of asocial disconnects? Like Columbine, we need to “expose” what the hell is happening and address it….but ya can’t do that with censorship! Remember that your mind is like a parachute…it only works if it is open.

Posted by Mark K. | Report as abusive
 

I’m looking for a certain level of professionalism from the mainstream media. I expect it, actually. I’m ok with some things not being aired while I’m eating dinner or at a moment when my kid is in the room. I may want access to that information in another setting, though, but the mainstream media needs to be different from the social media. Tough questions, yes.

 

I will tell you why this happened and why it will continue to happen. The answer is NOT in Cho’sill ramblings or any part of his corrupted mind.32 people died for Cho’s FREEDOM. They died for his right to refuse treatment. Sadly it isn’tany more complicated than that. We have a system and at present, a state-of-the-art (psychology)that cannot and in some cases, will not allow the safety of the masses to outweigh the freedomsof the ill. The stigma of mental illness and past abuses and predjudices against individualssuffering from mental illnesses (of all kinds) fueled policies and programs to right these wrongs.The result is that an individual, paranoid and delusional, can decide, even in the depths oftheir illness to refuse what limited resources are available. They are allowed to decide thecost/benefit of medication side-effects against what quality of life they can get from the medi-cation. Psychiatry will not, and in fact asserts that it cannot, predict with sufficient accuracywhether a person will be violent or violent, again after an episode. Psychiatric information aboutan individual is protected health information and can’t be shared, legally.Many families who are living with loved ones suffering from these illnesses, suffer themselveswith the out of control behavior that doesn’t Exactly fall under legal definition of danger. They getto watch these loved ones drift farther and farther into their illness and away from any kind ofdecent, independent, safe, healthy life.It’s a mess. Political correctness demands we not speak this truth for fear of offending thosewith these illnesses or causing discimination towards them. So, folks, know this. He isn’t thelast and those that follow will sound and behave just like him cuz it’s the illness and the system.That’s why talking heads say things like “just like other acts in the past, warning signs werethere and nothing was done”. It’s because the warning signs are the same for this type ofillness and because nothing CAN be done, if the individual doesn’t hurt themselves or others.. . . . . . . . at least until they do something like this.

Posted by karen | Report as abusive
 

Follow the money. The only reason NBC made this “hard” decision was for ratings. Please let NBC and it’s SPONSORS know of your disgust with their decision to air this journalistic trash.There is nothing NOTHING that I will gain by viewing this video. It is not news, it is sensationalism when this trash is aired and regurgitated ad nauseum. NBC should be ashamed.Imus is removed from the airwaves for his disgusting and vile remarks but this evil is allowed a forum to rant and rave. HYPOCRITS we are if we allow this MURDERER a public forum to spew his vile over and over. What is it that is so important for the public to see? That evil exists?ANY copycats that result from this…the blood is on the hands of NBC and its poor excuse for a news organization. Now that mentally deranged people know they can be infamous by shooting a bunch of innocents it’s not a matter of if, but when.NBC has shown it’s true colors. There is no integrity in the pursuit of $$ and ratings. Please PLEASE notify the sponsors of this News program and put the fear of losing $$ into the executives at NBC and then see if they will continue to imortalize this coward. I can’t believe (or maybe I can) that these so called journalists are so STUPID. You’ve (NBC) succeeded at imortalizing a murderer and giving his sick rantings the infamy he would never have achieved (or deserved) in life. I wonder how you sleep at night. DISGUSTING

Posted by T Hamilton | Report as abusive
 

I think it is pretty sad that they showed the video but bleeped out the cursing. What is wrong with our society? God for bid people hear the “F” word. We can encourage other people to do horrible things by showing them that they will have a platform to project their rants on afterwords but make sure you don’t use bad language. It is the same reason why networks don’t show people running on the field during sporting events because they don’t want to encourage it, but when it comes to a murderous rampage, the media is all for exploiting it to no end. NBC makes me sick.

Posted by Hank | Report as abusive
 

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