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Are We a Nation of Voyeurs?


On April 30, live coverage of a man committing suicide, by self immolation and gunshot, was broadcast in California. Some of the management of the local television stations apologized for not cutting away before the man shot himself. Many members of the news community have defended the intent to cover the armed man who at first aimed at freeway rush hour traffic while displaying a banner that read "HMO’s are in it for the money. Live free, Love safe or die".

We’ve seen tapes of police beating Reginald Denny, the siege at Waco, and the bodies being carried out of the federal building in Oklahoma City. Live coverage of the Simpson trial made Court TV network a ratings hit.

What do you think ? Does live television coverage make the best news? Are we better off for being this informed? Or are broadcasters exploiting tragedy for ratings points? Does exposure to this kind of broadcast desensitize us, and our children, to the suffering of the victims? What is "too much"? Join the discussion on
"My Two Cents".

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