2.19.2010

How Much Is Too Much? Feedback Friday



Last weekend, while watching Olympic coverage early in the evening with my kids (before 8 pm), NBC corespondents discussed the recent fatal crash of Olympic luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili.

As they discussed the accident, they ran video of the accident (including the actual impact) and a close-up of his bloody face during resuscitation attempts. I'm no prude, but the entire room hushed in disbelief. I saw my family cringe, hide their eyes, and look away from the grotesque scene on the screen. I try not to assert too much opinion on Fridays, but I can't hide the fact that I found this disrespectful to this grieving family and totally inappropriate for family viewing. Totally.

Was the airing of this deadly video newsworthy or over the top? Give me your feedback this Friday...
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32 comments :

  1. So glad I didn't see that footage. I'm with you, totally inappropriate - disrespectful to his family, and not viewing suitable for young viewers - or any viewers for that matter.

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  2. OMG...you must be reading my mind...I was watching also and was stunned that ABC was rerunning the crash over and over..so disrespectful to the family and the athlete. I guess anything for ratings...very sad.

    PS....How is it that you know just what many of us are thinking about ;-)

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  3. Yes, I felt the same way. Couldn't believe they showed it the first time; then they did again and again. Totally lacking in good judgement.

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  4. I'm SO glad you wrote about this...I, too, was so shocked. I was watching NBC, and while they did give fair warning, for some reason my brain was expecting the still photos that I'd seen on MSNBC earlier in the day. When they ever showed the actual video, followed by the bloody scene after, I was overcome and had to quickly close the kitchen door so that my little ones wouldn't hear me sobbing. Definitely too much, and so completely disrespectful.

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  5. It was completely out of line and I refused to watch his last moments.

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  6. Completely disrespectful. And what I find even more terrible, is that the officials are blaming the luger's inexperience on his death, saying the course was perfectly safe. (But then the officials still make ammendments to the course, basically contradicting themselves!)
    For an athlete, an accident or mistake during a sporting event should not have to result in death.
    So unfortunate.

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  7. I refused to watch any footage of his last moments either, just in respect. Yes, they should not have zoomed in or showed that. I was raised "old school" and my dad did not like it when news media would even show someone CRYING on television or in a newspaper. So sad...

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  8. Totally out of line. Its bad enough that there is video of it floating around and then to air it on primetime tv...just wrong! That poor family (and his whole team!)

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  9. I did not see it, but I would say that was just too much! I agree with you totally!

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  10. I didn't see it, but your description is enough to tell me that was too much to show. Now if it is live and it happens I can see it being on their then more by default than anything else, but over and over...that is just wrong! I am so sad for the family and how incredibly disrespectful for the athlete. I'm sure he didn't want to be remembered for his horrific accident, but for the things he accomplished, and inexperience or not, he made the Olympics!! don't blame inexperience. It is sad.

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  11. Too much, and makes me grateful that I don't have a television. I've always wondered at moments like this-- if the news stations talked to the family, established the family's preferences, and limited their coverage accordingly instead of pursuing every possible angle to grab attention... would their ratings really drop? Somehow I'm not so sure that they would.

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  12. That's the media for you! The olympics lost out on my viewing that night because of it. (I'd guess I'd rather watch the Pens and the Predators TRY to kill each other than to actually watch someone die!) Ironic I know.

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  13. I did not see that footage and I am glad I didn't. I can't imagine how hard this is for the family and for stations to show it is not appropriate in my opinion. It is just wrong to broadcast someone's last moments on earth!

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  14. I think its way inappropriate. To actually watch the impact that casued a death is digusting. Just like on Sept. 11th when they kept replaying the footage of the plane hitting the tower and then the tower falling to the ground. I remember thinking, "Seriously?! We just watched hundreds of people die in that building as it collapsed."

    Although I guess it's not as bad as a newspaper that I saw in Mexico. The cover shot was actually of a man who had been murdered - brains spilling out of his head and all.

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  15. The accident was beyond tragic and airing the footage of a young man's final horrific moments was extremely disturbing and unnecessary.

    Judy@cutest-little-things

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  16. I really have to say that I don't remember the warning before they showed the footage, and I was speechless because I can think of no imaginable reason to show it. Those images are burned into my brain forever.

    Like you said, that is someone's son - I wish they would have granted the young man more respect and dignity.

    There is a Pittsburgh newsman who has the (entire) R. Budd Dwyer suicide on his reel. How would you like to consider hiring someone and find that on his 'resume'?

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  17. Luckily, I went to bed before they aired the video, my husband and mother-in-law saw it...I was SO glad I didn't. I was very shocked they aired it...it is completely disrespectful to his family and frustrates me that news channels don't think about any of that...or maybe just don't care.?

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  18. Glad to say I didn't see it. But i do agree that they show waaaaaay to much these day at the expense of people's families. All for ratings. I mean, really, what was the purpose of showing all that you described? It's disgusting.

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  19. Completely disrespectful. My heart saddens at that families loss and I think the media just made it all the worse. That isn't in "public needs to know", that is just trying to get ratings and it sickens me.

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  20. Yes, it was way too much. My kids were horrified and can you imagine his family having to see their loved one die over and over on tv! Awful. The media needs to learn a lot about being respectful.

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  21. I 100% agree with you. I cant believe that they had aired that. so disrespectful and inappropriate.

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  22. Yep, had to explain that to my 5yo over dinner. What a fan-freakin-tastic time that was.

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  23. I work in TV news... and the crash happened more or less "during" my show. I didn't have the option to use the pictures, but I wouldn't even if I had. However, my station's competitors used those pictures on air later in the evening, and I was thoroughly disgusted. I thought it crossed a professional line.

    ~Elizabeth
    Confessions From A Working Mom

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  24. I think it is human to almost want to see the guts and the glory of any tragedy that happens.
    It makes us curious.

    We live in a society that can't use their imagination--they must see it for themselves to believe it
    --and then they wish they hadn't.

    We as a society (I mean this generally) are often so unimaginative that we can't even imagine how his family would feel about something like this
    --hence the reason Oprah has done so well.
    She'll have the family on so they can relive the tragedy in front of all of us so that we can understand or "imagine" how they must feel.

    I agree the video was out of line and horrible.
    I also think that as a society we ask for the dirt, the violence, the crime and the punishment.
    We want it. Like the Romans.
    and the news world says "when in Rome, do whatever you can to get more ratings".

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  25. I don't agree with the fact that they aired it several times - or for the first time - for that matter. But as the mother of an extreme sport participant - I am VERY aware of the dangers of his participation in these sports. DS is 15 with severe knee issues from his sports participation. Maybe I should have been the kind of mom to never let my son do the kinds of things he has done - but I would rather him be himself (dare devil since the age of 2 - it's in his blood, he gets it from my dad). I don't live in the "what if he gets hurt" moment - he is true to his character.

    Something else to think aboue - anyone remember when Dale Sr. died? They showed it over and over during the race - it was aweful. Death is part of living - whether it's extreme or not. But that doesn't mean I want to watch it happen to someone else on TV to remind me. :(

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  26. over the top.


    completely.


    And not only that one but also the phone call of the family in the toyota that crashed. Sends chills up my spin every time.

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  27. I really think its morbid - I don't have TV right now, and therefore have not watched any of the Olympic coverage, but several years go when one of my fave open wheel drivers Greg Moore died, they showed the crash and aftermath incessantly, to the point where I couldn't watch tv at all for a month... I really think that airing something like that publicly after the fact is just sensationalizing and tacky. I mean its one thing to air live,because you didn't know, but to make a conscious decision to air it again is just wrong.

    Stopping by from SITS

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  28. I'm so glad you said something about this, because I've not heard anyone else say a thing! We, too, were watching and I was appalled. Then, I had to try to explain what was going on to Sam because he was concerned about why I was upset. I really couldn't believe they showed it...over and over. It wasn't long, though, before they started saying "We aren't showing the footage out of respect...blah, blah, blah." It's like they forgot that they showed it all morning.

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  29. Terrible. I cringed. Luckily I don't think my kids understood what was going on. Very inappropriate.

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  30. It's awful. :( We also do not have television, so I found out after the fact, I couldn't believe what they did! My heart goes out to his family, it's bad enough they have to stay strong after losing the young man, but to have it being replayed... ugh. *cry* It's probably a good thing we don't have tv, seems we can't censor anything now! My kids are 5 and 3, they do NOT need to be seeing stuff like this.

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  31. Inappropriate. Completely.

    I had let my children watch some Olympic coverage until I heard about that. Now, no way. I don't need those kinds of images haunting my kids' minds.

    And besides just being bad for my kids - my heart aches for his family. There was absolutely no respect given for the personal nature of such a tragedy.

    I was very disappointed in the network.

    Thanks for weighing in on "blogging about kids" discussion on my blog. I appreciate your feedback!

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