04/19/07 — Video debate: Some say network should not have aired manifesto

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Video debate: Some say network should not have aired manifesto

It could not have been an easy decision to air the words of a killer, especially with so many around the country still recovering from Monday’s massacre at Virginia Tech.

So, when NBC News released the video sent to the network by shooter Cho Seung-Hui, there was bound to be second-guessing and some pain on the campus and around the nation.

And there were arguments internally at NBC as well.

But even though it was hard to hear — and even if it made many people feel worse about the events of April 16, 2007, knowing what was said and what led this murderer to take a gun and kill his classmates will help us all be better-prepared in the future.

This is not a case when knowing less will help us more. The only way to stop future acts like this is to expose the dangerous meanderings of criminals like this — and to help educate the public about which warning signs to watch for.

And if there is someone out there planning an attack, it will give many of those around him or her the information they need to alert authorities and to check more closely.

There are the old arguments about the free flow of information and that the media had a responsibility to share this information with the public, but those are applicable but secondary in importance here.

Releasing portions of the video showed viewers around the country the face, mind and actions of a killer.

And it gave this nation the warnings it needs to fight back in case there is another killer waiting in the wings.

Published in Editorials on April 19, 2007 11:23 AM