Alert emailer S.F. asks if NBC, when it broadcast baseball games, refused to show video of fans running onto the field. Most broadcasters don't, on the grounds that it would only encourage more attention-seeking disruptions. ... If that's NBC's practice, why is it OK in order to prevent the disruption of a baseball game but not to prevent mass murder? Just asking.It's hard to say what NBC's policy is to fans disrupting sporting events, since the only team sports they cover now are ice hockey (where the fans are walled off from the rink) and Sunday night football, a sport that for obvious reasons (ie., Mike Curtis, 1971) doesn't have a lot of fans running onto the field during games. I think the policy of not covering renegade fans is one that Vin Scully and the Dodgers have tried to follow, but I don't watch enough baseball nowadays to know about the networks.
In any event, is that analogy apt? People who run on the field are drunks who are trying to get attention, so denying them attention is the whole point. Obviously, if a fan were to run out on the field and attack a player, that would be covered, as it was several years ago when two White Sox fans attacked a Kansas City Royal first base coach, or when fans ran out on the court in Auburn Hills two years ago to go after assorted Indiana Pacers. Cho was a crazy person trying to rationalize mass murder; it's not like he was trying to get on the evening news by walking across campus naked. Murdering thirty-two people was his attention-grabbing act; the tapes he sent to NBC merely capitalized on that notoriety. And I dare anyone to watch his "manifesto" and think that he's anything other than pathetic.
Besides which, I always thought Kaus was in the forefront of the critique of modern journalism as being too staid and bland. Isn't this exactly the sort of media coverage that attracts an audience, in that it treats the audience as adults, and is not worried about whether what it's doing is "responsible" or "Pulitzer-worthy." Does he want NBC News to start acting like the LA Times?