Get off it
September 30, 2012 in America The Fucked
If you were watching Fox News on Friday, you might have seen a man kill himself, live, on national television.
Fox News wants you to know that they are very, very sorry this happened, and host Shepard Smith has offered an Explanatiapology for what happened:
“Well, uh, some ‘splainin’ to do (Isn’t that cute? Love Ricky Ricardo! -ed.) While we were taking that car chase and showing it to you live, uh, when the guy pulled over and got out of the vehicle, we went on delay. That’s why I didn’t talk for about ten seconds. We created a five second delay as if you were to bleep back your DVR for five seconds, that’s what we did with the picture we were showing you, so that we would see in the studio what was happening five seconds before you did so that if anything went horribly wrong we’d be able to cut away from it without subjecting you to it. And we really messed up.”
Judging by the graphic footage itself, it appears they really, really messed up. The moment the man pulls the trigger, someone behind the scenes says “oh!” and cuts the feed. Three seconds later, Shepard starts to shout, “Getoffgetofgetoffgetoff get off it! Get off it!”
So if we are to believe anyone was on a time delay, all evidence suggests it was Shepard Smith rather than the viewers at home.
Nosy, cynical people who hate fun look at Fox News’ reputation as being the trashiest “infotainment” outlet on the international airwaves today (except maybe for some of those Berlusconi stations,) and know that American news outlets have not historically had the best track record of keeping these sorts of incidents off the air.
Following Pennsylvania Treasurer Budd Dwyer’s press conference suicide, WPVI in Philadelphia re-broadcast the suicide, in its entirety, on its 5:00 and 6:00 news programs, without a warning to the audiences at home that what they were about to see was gruesome (and if you haven’t seen it before, just know that it is very, very gory.)
So it’s not as though news networks intentionally airing real suicides, both live and pre-recorded, is unheard of.
And seeing as Fox News has a reputation for sensationalist coverage, this humble commentator has no reason to believe the live broadcast of the Arizona carjacker’s suicide was anything other than completely intentional.
I should state now that I loathe all 24/hour news networks, and I have no reason to believe that CNN, MSNBC, HLN and any others I might be missing would be above doing the same thing.