Release Or Withhold?

I admit to being torn on this one. Let’s start with Dave Winer:

NBC should release all of the videos in Quicktime form as downloads. It’s wrong to withhold them.

They’re sifting through them and deciding what to release and what not to release.

It’s 2007, and it’s a decentralized world. We should all get a chance to see what’s on those videos. h

GIven enough time the focus will go on their process, much better to just let it all out now, with no editorial judgement.

If you have contacts in the blogging world or MSM that could influence NBC’s decision, please pass this on.

Then there’s Hugh Hewitt:

Soon after the press conference at which it was disclosed that NBC had received a package of print, photos and video materials from the Virginia Tech murderer, I interviewed Howard Kurtz about how NBC should handle it. (The transcript will be here later this evening.) We quickly agreed that any video should not be shown, and while I think that Howard thought perhaps a picture could be aired, I and the live audience I was broadcasting in front of disagreed. I would have published –instantly– the text of the killer’s statement’s for the public to read, but I would have denied the killer the instant video glorification he so obviously desired, an immortalization which other deranged killers of the future will almost certainly seek to emulate. NBC decided differently.

Indeed. NBC did the worst of both worlds. They released some of the videos, and some of the transcript (only read on camera by Brian Williams, not in text form). This neither gives us enough information to know what to make of this, nor does it deny Cho his stardom from the grave.

Frankly, at this point given that NBC has done a partial release, they should just finish the job and go with Winer’s suggestion. But NBC’s attempt to split the difference between the two opposing schools of thought, both of which make valid points IMO, wound up embracing the worst aspects of both. As it now stands Cho has his stardom and the public doesn’t have enough information to figure it all out.

So I say release everything.


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