On Wednesday night on “Andersen Cooper 360″, CNN aired a video of the death of an American soldier from the point of view of the sniper. On the video, the sound of a gun crack is heard and the soldier in the video suddenly slumps forward in the turret. The report of CNN airing the video came from Yahoo News.
NEW YORK – A CNN executive said Thursday the network’s effort to present the “unvarnished truth” about the Iraq war led it to televise portions of a video that shows insurgent snipers targeting U.S. military personnel.
The tape, which came to the network unexpectedly through contact with an insurgent leader, was aired first Wednesday night on “Anderson Cooper 360″ and repeated on Thursday.
In one instance, the tape shows a uniformed member of the U.S. military milling in a public area with Iraqis. A shot rings out. CNN fades the screen to black before the result ? described as a victim falling forward ? is visible.
It’s one of 10 separate sniper attacks on Americans documented on the tape, which CNN technicians concluded was authentic, said David Doss, executive producer of Cooper’s show, in a Web log entry describing the network’s decision what to show.
“Whether or not you agree with us in this case, our goal, as always, is to present the unvarnished truth as best we can,” Doss said.
At this point, all that CNN needs to do is put a score count for the U.S soldiers and terrorists at the bottom of the screen. Showing the death of this soldier is a callous, sensational act just for the sake of ratings and possible influence over the upcoming election. Doss justifies his position of airing the footage by saying that he wants to show the real truth. CNN probably has footage of hundreds of deaths over the period of the last five years. If CNN really wanted to show the real “truth”, why did they wait until three weeks before the election to actually air this footage?
Whatever your opinion of the war, there is nothing that can justify showing the death of a soldier. It is ghoulish and disrespectful to the soldier, his family and the ultimate sacrifice that soldier has made. When Daniel Pearl was brutally decapitated by Al-Qaeda, the news did not show the unedited murder on television. Why should this soldier’s life be treated with any less value?