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Brian Williams agonizes, misses the point

Whether you think NBC should or shouldn't have broadcast Cho Seung-Hui's homemade videos yesterday, this item by anchor Brian Williams is worth reading. Among other things, Williams asserts that the public will never see the worst material Cho sent to the network:
[O]pening each computer video snippet for the first time was a sickening and harrowing experience -- and it's good to know that the worst of them -- all now in the hands of investigators -- will never see the light of day.
Reading this, I truly believe that Williams & Co. agonized over whether to show what they'd been sent. However, there's no real indication they talked about the possibility of their own coverage inspiring copycat crimes. (Williams does say he and  his colleagues were "aware that this puts words in the mouth of a murderer," but that seems like a principled rather than a pragmatic concern.)  Since the inadvertent creation of a cult of Cho was the best argument for not airing the material in question, that's a disappointment.

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