Thursday, July 28, 2005

Which Side Are the Media On?

ABC News published exclusive photos of the 7/7 London bombing scene as well as photos of unexploded bombs found in a rental car. It turns out that the British police asked ABC not to release the pictures due to "operational concerns" and the damgage that would be done to ongoing cases and prosecutions. Well, ABC politely gave them the finger and ran the photos anyway. Which side are these guys on?
The British police asked ABC News on Tuesday to withhold a report showing images of what were said to be unexploded bombs found in a car used by the July 7 bombers and of the inside of a subway train mangled in the attacks, a network official said yesterday.

The interior of the train between London's King's Cross and Russell Square Underground stations, in which 27 people were killed on July 7, was included in an ABC News report that showed previously unseen images.

But on its "World News Tonight" program on Tuesday, ABC went ahead with the report, which said the attacks might have been part of a wider plot, said the official, Jon Banner, executive producer of "World News Tonight." He said the account was cut from the program when it was broadcast later in Britain by the BBC.

The Metropolitan Police sent an e-mail message yesterday that asked news organizations "in the strongest possible terms" not to replay the images "because they may prejudice both the ongoing investigation and any future prosecutions." The police called the images "unauthorized."

Nevertheless, British broadcasters - including Sky News and the BBC - showed the pictures during the day, and they were distributed by Reuters.

Later yesterday, a police spokeswoman, who spoke in return for anonymity under standard police procedures, said of some news organizations: "Obviously they made their own decision. We asked them to be responsible and they were not." She added, "We still don't want the pictures to be published for operational reasons."


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