Kadafi death video creates queasy choices for TV news
The graphic images and video of what is purported to be Moammar Kadafi's death are creating some queasy moments for TV news executives, who are generally deciding to air the footage preceded by content warnings.
"We've just received some very graphic, dramatic video," CNN's Wolf Blitzer informed viewers as the story broke Thursday. "We want to warn our viewers that it is dramatic and it is graphic."
Kadafi, the strongman who ruled Libya for decades, was evidently killed by rebels, although the exact circumstances of his death have yet to be confirmed.
Pictures of a corpse identified as one of Kadafi's sons (top photo) were also turning up on the Internet Thursday.
Shaky, hand-held video making the rounds online showed a man who appeared to be Kadafi, bloodied but evidently still alive, being roughed up by a jeering mob. Networks also showed cellphone images of what appeared to be the dictator's lifeless body.
"Warning: graphic content," the Fox News website informed users.
"We are reviewing everything that's coming in and are not putting anything on the air that hasn't been carefully screened," David McCormick, vice president of standards for NBC News, said in a statement. He added that NBC and MSNBC wanted to keep viewers informed "without crossing a line into offensive or unnecessarily graphic material. We feel the footage that has aired meets those boundaries."
What do you think? Should the TV networks and online sites be using the Kadafi images? Sound off in the comments or on our poll below.
— Scott Collins
Photo: Libyans gathered to take pictures of a corpse identified as Kadafi's son, Mo'tassim. Credit: Saad Shalash / Reuters.