Take the Al Jazeera Poll - Should the Virginia Tech Gunman's Video Be Broadcast

By broadcasting the video that the deranged student recorded, the news media is only encouraging copycats. The gunman himself referred to the Columbine killers, no doubt because of their video messages.

Brooke Gladstone of NPR's On The Media said today that airing the videos was the only thing news outlets could do. I disagree. The graphic and offensive images are not providing any new information and only serve to encourage others to follow suit.

Al Jazeera has an online poll. Take it and see what their readers think.


The Lazy Iguana said...

Interesting poll results. I voted "no" for the Al Jazeera poll and "yes" on the CNN or whatever poll.

The American poll results were 51% saying no. The Al Jazeera results were 53% yes.

I do not think the "manifesto" adds anything new to the story. It does however give the media more to talk about. They can show the video and photos, talk about them, find "experts" to talk about it, then talk about how terrible it is that people are talking about the video they aired.

I feel another news strike coming on. Please tell me when the news resumes.

Anonymous said...

Consider all the airtime and column space given to the villain of the Virginia tragedy, to his 23-page statements and his 43 sickening photographs. Now compare it with the references one needs to search for two heroes who gave their own lives to save others'.

Do NBC and others find no significance and educational value to highlight the sacrifice made by these two gentlemen?

I hope that media will suspend repeatedly playing the killer's tapes and videos and dedicate some space to honor examples of bravery like Liviu Librescu, the 76-year-old maths professor who held shut the door of his classroom while his pupils scrambled to safety, and was then shot dead .

Another fallen hero is Virginia Tech student Waleed Mohammed Shaalan, who was hit by three bullets, including one in the head, in an attempt to save a fellow student.

Shaalan, 32, had been at Virginia Tech since August studying for a Ph.D. in civil engineering. He was ambitious, saying he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Ahmed Zewail, an Egyptian who won the Nobel prize for chemistry in 1999, said his father, Mohammed Shaalan, 65.

The day before Monday's massacre, Shaalan called home and said he intended to visit Egypt next month and then return to Virginia with his wife and 15-month-old son who had been living in Egypt, his parents said Thursday. The family got another call two days later. The Egyptian Embassy in Washington told them Shaalan had been one of the 32 victims.

See his 2004 wedding photo at

The Lazy Iguana said...

Truly very sad. People like Shaalan need to be remembered, not the crazy guy.

While I think the death of the professor who was blocking the door is also very sad, the lives of the students cut short is just awful. The professor was already old and had a chance to live his life. The students however were just starting theirs. They had many years ahead of them, and who knows what they would have accomplished.

It is all very sickening.