OnMedia: How much is too much Wheldon crash video?
I noted briefly in Monday's column that ABC had been judicious and sensitive in showing the video of the 15-car pileup that killed race car driver Dan Wheldon on Sunday afternoon.
I'm not a racing fan, but chatter on Twitter about the crash led me to watch the coverage. After the official word that Wheldon had died, ABC aired the video, prefacing it with a detailed warning about what was about to appear on screen.
It is, of course, easily available online. But you have to search it out and choose to click on the video. That's quite a different thing from it washing over you on television.
CNN spent a good deal of time using the video as backdrop for its coverage of the crash. I think they spent too much air time on the accident video.
If you're interested, here's the video of the accident:
Of course, you don't have to click on the video. You don't have that freedom with live TV. Back in the weeks after the 2001 terror attacks there was much talk of the repetitious video of planes hitting the World Trade Center becoming numbing wallpaper.
That video was part of the biggest news event of modern times.
Repetition of a car crash in a high-speed race has no such significance. The horrible crash may result in changes to Indy Car racing, but that doesn't have much wider significance.
Like live coverage of police chases, the repetition of such dramatic video isn't really news – especially after the fourth or fifth time it airs.
On TV: FX has ordered a 13-episode fifth season of "Sons of Anarchy."
- AMC's Sunday night season premiere of "Walking Dead" pulled in 7.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research numbers.
- MTV has ordered a second season of "Ridiculousness," a collection of viral videos hosted by Rob Dyrdek.
- ESPN has signed Jon Gruden for five more years as a "Monday Night Football" analyst.
Some failed television experiments: PopMatters.com has compiled an entertaining list of "The 10 Most Spectacular Screwups in Television History," which speaks for itself.
Let's cut right to No. 1, which makes the case that Adolf Hitler and comedy don't really go together.
are-gee | Oct. 23, 2011 at 4:37 p.m. (report)
Too much of many things is not always good. Having written this, I do appreciate the unique opportunity to see this crash...once.
Tim- Is your remote not working? If you were offended by the coverage, one click gets you back to your comfort zone and your "I Love Lucy" rerun. I was watching the race and wanted to see what happened. A fifteen car wreck is complicated and needs to be repeated to understand the sequence of events. Indy Car management has a lot of questions to answer about the circumstances of this race. Why were there so many cars (34) on this track? I saw the names of a number of drivers I had never heard of. Why were there so many inexperienced drivers in a race run at speeds of up to 225 miles per hour in a very confined space? There needs to be more scrutiny of this accident, not less. I hope Indy Car will investigate their own questionable decisions as well as the accident itself and learn from both so that this won't happen again.
I was also surprised at how ABC handled that crash. I was watching the race years ago when Earnhardt was killed in a crash and I don't remember what network it was on but they were showing replays of the wreck over and over right after it happened but as soon as word came out that a driver was killed they immediatly said out of repsect for the driver and especially his family they were not going to show the replays anymore, which makes sense to me. I wasn't watching the race live Sunday but heard about a big crash so I turned it on and didn't see any replays. Only after it was announced Wheldon was killed did they start showing replays. I thought NASCAR handled the situation a lot better
As I wrote, "It is, of course, easily available on-line. But you have to search it out and choose to click on the video. That's quite a different thing from it washing over you on television." I believe in giving readers the option of seeing something, if they want or haven't seen it. Your criticism would work "mush" better if I was running the video as a loop without reader control.
How mush is too much? then you post the video directly? what a douchebag.
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