More on the Steve Irwin Video

FoxNews.com published an Associated Press article entitled Should Video of ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin’s Death Be Released?. Of course, my answer is a resounding no but as Kate can attest to the death mutants are already scouring the web looking for the video. For those people let me share some quotes from the article with you…

For its part, Discovery Communications, the network where Irwin became a star, said there was absolutely no truth to rumors that the footage, now in possession of police in Queensland, Australia, might be released.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t concerns that someone could attempt to get their hands on it and publicize it for lurid means — or just to show they had it. That, said media analyst Martin Kaplan, would be tantamount to a snuff film.

Irwin’s manager and close friend, John Stainton, had the painful experience of watching the videotape where Irwin pulls the stingray barb from his chest. He called it “shocking.”

“It’s a very hard thing to watch, because you are actually witnessing somebody die, and it’s terrible,” he told reporters.

Samuel G. Freedman, who teaches a media ethics class at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, says the issue is “whether there is any compelling public interest” in the release of something so shocking as footage of a death. Here, he says, there clearly isn’t.

“The lay person is not going into the water trying to have encounters with stingrays,” Freedman said. “It would be purely titillation and necrophilia if anyone were to show this.”

“Only in the sense that there’s a race for the bottom in our culture,” Kaplan says. “This will take substantial vigilance on the part of the family.”

Do you see that? If you’re one of the freaks that like to watch real people dying then you’re a necrophiliac at the bottom of our culture. In case you were wondering there is something wrong with you.

With any luck, the video will be destroyed or locked away forever.

9 Comments

  1. Thank god!

    I watched the CNN stuff on Steve Irwin last night and my questions were answered about the how concerning Steve’s death.

    I hope the tape is destroyed too. It would be tragic for those two beautiful kids to stumble across it being played somewhere on the internet ten years from now.

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  2. After watching all the “faces of death” films and the various films that depict death, fighting, injurys…etc. I dont really think there is any hope that the video of Irwin’s death will be destroyed and never seen by the public eye.
    As I understand it, Irwin’s widow was given the right to either destroy or permit the public viewing of the video. I think she will NOT hide this video. Money will most probably speak for her and such a voice tends to speak volumes.

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  3. Irwin had said publicly that he hoped if he were to die doing his job that it would be captured on video. His life was to document on camera close encounters with such beasts…because he put himself in the spotlight and reaped the benefits, there is an obligation that his estate must abide by to release the tape. The sooner it finds its way online the better.

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  4. Uhm,

    Ok, I am willing to go along with the idea that certain people, a select few, actually watch some of these things for a reason sometimes.

    I hope you are not shocked and dismayed when I tell you all that I have MADE myself watch each and every terrorist beheading video. The reason I did so was not out of some morbid fascination for death and each one of them disturbed me intensely. I did so for political reasons, is the best way that I can explain it. I then wrote a paper to the Daily Mirror of London on who it is that actually pays for the war is rarely those who start them, and that I felt it was the patriotic duty of every American citizen to bear witness to what happened to these men, particularily the president and prime minister, so that we NEVER forget the horror what is really involved in war times, and ask ourselves and future generations if it is necessary to risk this again in the future. It is sooo easy for people to become complacent over war when it is almost always something that happens far away, over THERE and they can sit in their own quiet houses where bombs are not falling around them and pretend that things like this don’t happen. The videos brought it “home” so to speak. So I had my reasons, albeit strange ones.

    The faces of death movies were viewed by myself and many of my other classmates enrolled in the criminal justice program at my old U. They were rarely worse than what our training materials were, and we watched them to try to prepare ourselves the best we could for the day we would be exposed to these things in real life. To me, this reason has merit.

    I have never heard that Steve Irwin said he wanted his death shown. That’s a new one on me, and I seriously question the source of that information. Scientists and other biologists involved in the study of animal behavior might have reasons for wanting to view them that are valid, and I am sure in this case that Steve would approve, but as for the sick kicks of the general public, I cannot let myself believe that there is anyone out there with any decency at all, and Steve and his family do seem like good people, that would approve of their own death video being released to the public to serve some nasty thrill seekers thirst for gore.

    It is incomprehensible to me that there is even discussion over the matter at all, and I am HIGHLY disapointed in msnbc at the moment for even giving it a hole on their site, and therefore a platform, so disapointed that I am changing my homepage and email account to elsewhere today.

    It’s like those Diana photos I have seen all over the net, the poor girl, and now Steve were not entitled to any privacy in life and are now to be allowed none in death as well? For shame. Do I have a little curiosity about what it looks like when a person is stung to death by a sting ray? Yes, I will admitt that I do because I dive, but I would not view this video out of common decency and out of respect for the very nice man who died in a tragic accident.

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  5. You know, Jim,

    That is ALWAYS a bad thing. There are some folks whose nature is simply to be curious about these sorts of things when others can’t, and thank God for some of those people or we probably wouldn’t have modern science.

    Let us not forget that it is an innate sense and curiosity for the morbid that gives us some of our best doctors and pathologists, not to mention crime scene technicians, particularily photographers and criminal investigators. Not all of these people went into their line of work simply to “help” people. Many of them realized that they had this weird thing in them and simply decided do something positive with it. Believe it or not, folks, some of them ENJOY their work. So it would take this morbid curiosity in my opinion to continue enjoying your work, and therfore becoming damned good at it.

    The Crime Library recently featured an article on a lady by the name of Frances Glessner Lee which is well worth taking a look at. She is a fascinating character in history with the “morbid curiosity” who wanted to use it to become a crime scene investigator, but at that time, women in that field were almost unheard of. So instead, the lady turned to making miniatures of different crime scene scenarios called nutshell studies, to help train police officers and investigators. The work was painstakingly detailed,and I must clueyou in to the fact that this lady was not entirely doing this to help others. She actually enjoyed it. It’s a great story and I recommend it.

    And let us not forget one of the original macbre ladies of the 20th century, Agatha Christie, whose novels I have enjoyed since I was a teen. It takes a morbid mind, to create a morbid scene. And Agatha was said to have visited many real crime scenes, just as Frances Lee, to get inspiration for her books.

    I will leave it at that, but guys, this is a nice young man who should have lived to be a grandpa and hislife was snuffed out by a freaky thing happening thatno one could have anticipated. He was not the victim of a crime, nor the center of some huge mystery. He was killed in a horrible accident and they KNOW the cause. So I am hoping possibly against hope that they use VERY sound judgement in deciding not to let that tape be viewed. He doesn’t deserve that, nor does his family.

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  6. OOPS. I meant to say NOT always a bad thing. Sorry Jim, a little hung over lol.

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  7. lol, yeah… I agree. but i am chatting with a group of people who (for the most part) are against videos like this being public… so the shame comes out.

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