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.
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.