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Show the Sensational Video or Not?

Reported by Melanie - June 22, 2004 -

Approximately two minutes into today's Dayside w/Linda Vester (1:02 p.m. ET), Fox began running a split screen. One showed Vester and the other showed video obtained from Al Jazeera television purported to be the last minutes of South Korean abductee Kim Sun-Il's life. Evidently, at some point, the video contains the beheading of Kim Sun-Il. Fox did not show the beheading but did show a group of three or four men, one reading from a piece of paper, standing behind Kim Sun-Il, who was sitting. There was no audio.

The split screen remained until 1:10 p.m. ET when it was removed immediately after guest Mansoor Ijaz, a Fox analyst, said that the media "should not at all give them [the abductors] a platform."

During these eight minutes, I'd switched between Fox, MSNBC and CNN to see if they were airing the video. MSNBC and CNN showed clips, off and on, but did not leave it on the screen continuously like Fox did.

COMMENT: Poor Fox. They so love these sorts of videos. They run them as long and as frequently as possible. Today though, they were caught in an embarrassing position - run the video because of it's high impact value or keep from giving "them a platform." What a conundrum for the entertainment-based cable news world.