On his FOX show last night, Bill O'Reilly did an "investigation" into the nude video of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews. In case you're not familiar with the story, someone shot video of Andrews through a peephole in a hotel wall, and later put it on the Internet. All of this occured without Andrews' knowledge or consent.
While setting up the story, O'Reilly showed some of the video. When it was done, he said, "We're not gonna show you anymore of that ladies and gentlemen...I gotta show you what they think is criminal intent here, but, you know, I'm not gonna show anymore video of it because this is ultra-disturbing and I think it's a very serious crime."
If you think this seems like a classic case of "having your cake and eating it too," well, you're not alone. The Web site Gawker.com responded this way: "Classic. Just classic Bill O'Reilly slimeballage, wrapped up neatly under the guise of "investigative reporting."
The site went on:
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"Now, O'Reilly, and Fox News in general, have a long history with this sort of thing. He'll bloviate righteously about softcore porn on YouTube or underage strippers or how the Make-A-Wish foundation turned down money from a bikini car wash fundraiser or whatever, and all the while he'll have salacious clips running over the audio of he and his guests mouthing off about the gross injustice of whatever it is they're talking about. So you just knew that O'Reilly would take this whole thing straight into the gutter, and he did not disappoint."
Andrews' attorney, Marshall Grossman, has threatened legal action against the person who shot the video, as well as anyone who runs it: "Although the perpetrators of this criminal act have not yet been identified, when they are identified, she intends to bring both civil and criminal charges against them and against anyone who has published the material."
Another FOX-owned outlet, the New York Post, is also in hot water with ESPN. The network has banned all Post reporters from appearing on its air, after the newspaper ran still photos of the video. ESPN senior vice president of communications Chris LaPlaca said in a statement, "While we understand the Post’s decision to cover this as a news story, their running photos obtained in such a fashion went well beyond the boundaries of common decency in the interest of sensationalism."
Kelly McBride, a journalism ethics expert with the Poynter Institute in Florida, told the New York Daily News it was unethical for news organizations to show images from the Andrews video. “There is some illegally obtained material, leaked documents or video of a CIA person torturing a soldier, or stuff taken out of Gitmo, that I think has great public importance. But this doesn’t do that at all. I actually do believe in giving the audience what they want to certain restraints, and I think this clearly crosses that line. I don’t think with a straight face you could justify this on journalistic grounds.”
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Watch O'Reilly here:
Read more on OpposingViews.com: Erin Andrews Nude Video Raises Journalistic Ethics Questions