NBC-branded horror

Look at that image on the left. To me, it seems like a two-page-spread magazine advertisement designed to make me have nightmares every time I think of NBC News.

Dan Gilmor explains it precisely: The decision to add a logo to the horrific images from Cho was a “catastrophic marketing blunder.”

I’m not questioning here whether or not NBC was correct in airing the material. I’m questioning the judgment to “brand” it.

While I can understand the knee-jerk desire by NBC reporters to take credit for an exclusive scoop that a deranged murderer dropped into their laps when he decided they would be his conduit for broadcasting his insanity, I have not been able to comprehend why the grown-ups at NBC (apparently, from the previously linked-to NY Times article) didn’t have the better judgment to step in and say, “Guys, this is not an NFL football game where we purchased the rights to this stuff and we want credit. It’s not like we sent our crew out and shot this stuff. It’s not like a reporter went out and developed sources for this material. The guy didn’t even get our address right. This isn’t our property, rather it is evidence in a murder. But most importantly, people, do we want an entire generation of 18-24 year olds who have been traumatized by this event to associate NBC News with this psychotic mass-murderer for the next half-century?”

As Dan says:

“One aspect that clearly irritated many of NBC’s competitors was the impression of the logo ‘NBC News,’ which the network burned into every image from the material.” They should be quietly overjoyed, not angry.”

While I don’t think they should be overjoyed. I think they should be glad Cho sent it to NBC and not them.

  • Hudge

    Interesting you should use the term, grown-ups. Peggy Noonan in her April 20 column uses that also: http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan – in fact, it’s a major thrust of her article.

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  • Good point. Reasonable people can disagree on whether the video should have been released in some capacity. (I tend to think that it should have been released. More information is better, and as a grownup in a free country I don’t want someone else deciding what I can choose to see.)

    NBC could have been more responsible and sensitive in the way they presented the material. As is, the material was released opportunistically.