Days after the luge accident that killed a Georgian Olympian, we still can’t shake the disturbing images and sound of his body flying off the track at 90 mph and striking a steel pole. That trauma was delivered in full high definition by the three major networks, which all reached the same appalling decision to air the footage.

The father of the dead athlete has said he will not watch the video, but why should anyone have? Unlike the wilds of the Internet, the networks are expected to filter out content this morbid and exploitative. One can make the argument that network news ought to be more unfiltered in some cases, such as war. But this is different. This is a snuff film.

Worse, they all did it. Not one of the big three had the decency to uphold the most basic of standards. This is what television has become. Spare us Janet Jackson’s tit, but if someone’s head collides with a steel pole, give it to us with surround sound, again and again. — PZS

Sources: Washington Post, ABC News

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