NBC is still catching flak for airing the video of Georgian Olympian Nodar Kumaritashvili, who died last week during a training run for the luge event.
While obviously this is a huge news story that cast a pall over this year's games, many viewers complained the video was too graphic and that NBC was exploiting the luger's death by airing it several times. (NBC anchors did warn people of the graphic nature of the crash before it was shown).
Often, we in the media take a lot of heat for airing videos and pictures of tragedies that may be upsetting to some people.
So, should NBC have shown the video at all, and more than once?
In this case, I say yes. Not showing the video could make it look like NBC was trying to cover up the tragedy so as not to damage the Olympic broadcast.
Also, in this case, the people overseeing the luge event made significant changes to the course as a direct result of the tragedy. Watching the video, even though it's difficult to watch, gives the viewer a better idea of how this young man died and the dangers facing all lugers. Let's face it, sliding down a sheet of ice at 90 mph laying on a small board isn't the safest event.
At The Telegraph, we've also had our fair share of criticism over the years when we photograph a tragedy, such as a fire or a murder. People don't mind reading about it, but somehow seeing it makes it worse. In these cases, pictures really are worth a thousand words.
Too often, though, networks like ESPN do like to show graphic videos over and over, such as a spectacular NASCAR crash or an NFL player delivering a huge hit on another player. Sometimes, it seems as though they are showing it more for the shock value than for the news value, which I think is wrong.
But I don't think that's the case with NBC and the Olympics. The luge tragedy marred the opening of the Games and was a huge story. NBC did right by trying to show how the accident happened.
TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: NBC's Olympic coverage continues tonight at 8 p.m.
Still, I can't bring myself to care too much about figure skaters and snowboarders, so I'm very happy that "Lost" (ABC, 9 p.m.) is new, featuring a Locke-centric episode. Is this the real John Locke, the John Locke from the flash-sideways, or the fake Locke? I wish they'd wear nametags. It's followed by a new "The Forgotten" at 10 p.m.
Fox airs two hours of "American Idol" beginning at 8 p.m.
On cable, USA closes out the Westminster Dog Show at 8 p.m., followed by a new episode of "White Collar" at 10 p.m.
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