“…We really messed up. And we’re all very sorry. That didn’t belong on TV. We took every precaution we knew how to take to keep that from being on TV. And I personally apologize to you that that happened. Sometimes we see a lot of things that we don’t let get to you – because it’s not time appropriate, it’s insensitive, and it’s just wrong. And that was wrong. And that won’t happen again on my watch and I’m sorry.”
—-Shepard Smith, Fox New Anchor, in his immediate apology to viewers after a live police chase Fox News had been showing to viewers ended with the pursued car’s driver suddenly committing suicide with a pistol shot to the head. Apparently the network had gone to a 5 second delay in the eventuality of such a development, but technicians still failed to stop the feed in time.
Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald on live TV. Those of us who saw the twin towers fall saw 3000 souls die as it happened. I understand Smith apologizing pro forma for an unexpected moment of violence, but the statement,
“Sometimes we see a lot of things that we don’t let get to you…”
…is troubling. I don’t trust Fox News or any other network to decide what is too horrible or disturbing for me to see. How is a high-speed care chase likely to end? If a viewer fears graphic violence, that viewer should avoid live news events. I’m sure a re-run of “NCIS” or “Criminal Minds” was on TNT or A&E for those who couldn’t handle the real thing. (On Wednesday, an arrested suspect blew his brains out on “Criminal Minds.”) Smith’s comment smacks of paternalism, and bad journalism too. The news media’s job is to report and observe, not protect us from the harshness of life, or more ominously, from things those in power think it inconvenient for us to see.
Facts: Media Bistro
Graphic: Exiled on line