Ed Driscoll

The Hanging We Kept To Ourselves

Tammy Bruce writes that the networks are “wringing their [hands] over whether or not to show any part of the Saddam execution video. I find this sudden concern, on CNN and Viacom’s part especially, about showing an execution to be slightly disingenuous”:

Astounding, isn’t it? Here’s CNN, which had absolutely no problem airing terrorist propaganda featuring their murder of our troops, and yet they struggle with airing a hooded mass murderer being hung. Why is that? Because it will be an image which reminds Americans that progress has been made, and is an undeniable reminder that justice for Saddam’s million-plus victims was made possible by the USA. Today’s leftist media, CNN in particular, are loathe to resent it. It has nothing to do with decency, They’ve already exposed their inherent indecency when they worked with terrorists and aired our loved ones being murdered. This is about their deliberate agenda and how images of a dispatched Saddam does not help them.

Oh, I wonder if CNN struggled with it’s Watch-the-Iraqi-Sniper-Kill-An-American on demand video. I’m guessing, probably not.

It’s not the first time that they’ve demonstrated such a double-standard, (UPDATE: and here’s a very similar double-standard by CBS in action) and it’s a reminder of how politicized the news industry has come since the days of Ben Hecht’s The Front Page, with a plot that hinged on reporters doing their damnedest to smuggle out a death-row interview of a soon-to-be executed convicted murderer.

The original “if it bleeds it leads” school of tabloid journalism that inspired Hecht’s play (and its innumerable movie versions through the years) was at least far more honest with its objectives–selling newspapers, any way possible–than today’s journalists. Or as James Lileks once wrote:

The first question in any J-school application ought to be