April 19, 2007

Outraged by TV broadcasts of Virginia Tech killer Cho Seung-Hui’s videotaped “manifesto”, Americans are rising up in anger against media ghouls. Faced with a public “backlash”, reports the Associated Press, “… Fox News Channel said Thursday it would stop [airing the pictures] and other networks said they would severely limit their use”. (1)

In the midst of his rampage on Monday, Cho took a break from his grisly work to mail a package to NBC News, containing 43 photos, video footage and a letter to NBC. Just as Cho anticipated, NBC aired the materials, granting him the mass audience he craved. Other news organizations followed suit.

Copycat Madness Sweeps Country

A wave of copycat murder mania is sweeping schools across the country. MSNBC reports that 36 California schools were locked down today, due to threats of mass violence. (hat tip, FreeRepublic) (2) One 14-year old student in St. Augustine, FL was arrested for sending an e-mail threatening to out-do Cho Seung-Hui by killing 100 people.(3)

“[S]top showing this video now. Take it off the Internet. Let it be relegated to YouTube,” pleaded psychiatrist Michael Welner on ABC’s “Good Morning America” today. “This is a social catastrophe. Showing the video is a social catastrophe.” (via FreeRepublic) (4)

When you contact NBC, please express yourself in a mature and professional manner.

Steve Capus
President, NBC News

1. David Bauder, “Backlash Leads to Pullback on Cho Video“, Associated Press, 19 April 2007, 02:31 PM US/Eastern

2. “California Schools Under Lockdown“, MSNBC, 19 April 2007

3. “School Threats Lock Down Some California Schools; Michigan College Closes“, South Plains Public Radio, 19 April 2007

4. “Psychiatrist: Showing Video is `Social Catastrophe’“, ABC News, 19 April 2007