My readers were divided about whether they, like NBC, would have aired portions of the videos sent by Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech killer.
"I would have liked for them to not have shown them," writes Julie Clark of Cobbs Creek, Va. "In the tapes Cho states that he admired the Columbine killers. Hopefully no other young person will see this horrible footage and decide to emulate Cho."
D. Monroe of Yorba Linda, Calif. agrees: "Sick minds see this as glorification of a criminal, and it only prompts more sick minds to act out the same or worse vicious crimes." But Charlie Seng of Lancaster, S.C., would have aired the tape.
"The public had a right to know how warped this nut was," Seng writes. "Clearly NBC did the right thing." Check out other opinions at The Right Thing: SOUND OFF: STARING DOWN EVIL or post your own by clicking on "comments" or "post a comment" below.
Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business (Smith Kerr, 2006), is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of The Right Thing, a Web log focused on ethical issues.
Do you have ethical questions that you need answered? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or to "The Right Thing," The New York Times Syndicate, 500 Seventh Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10018. Please remember to tell me who you are, where you're from, as well as where you read the column.
Jeffrey, I'd like to amend my earlier post about backing NBC having the right to air the tapes by Cho in the Virginia Tech killings. Having now read several in depth articles about NBC's handling of all of this, knowing that NBC had aired another feature on campus killings only hours prior to Cho's killings that may have specifically caused Cho to choose NBC as the recipient of his tapes in answer to NBC's earlier feature and NBC's appearance of holding exclusivity of these Cho tapes and refusal to share them with other networks, I am changing my opinion to be highly critical of NBC's handling of this whole affair and further stating that NBC handled the whole situation from a greedy standpoint, rather than treating the Cho tape as news and allowing other networks to air the Cho tapes.
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