This morning, theToday show
is reporting on theKyle Dyer dog bite
without running video of the actual incident.
Why not? The story, on view below, announces that NBC -- the parent network of 9News -- has decided not to feature the footage, and adds that the Denver station has actively sought to keep the clip off the Internet.
The reported reason: The bite, by an Argentine Mastiff named Max who was rescued from an icy pond the previous day, has been traumatizing for staff members.
No doubt that's the case. But it's equally true that many items shown by TV stations on news broadcasts are traumatizing for the friends and family of the people involved. Think of the late January hit-and-run for which Taylor Jo Mathis was arrested. In that case, 9News and many other outlets in town ran surveillance footage of the car striking two people, with one sent airborne by the impact.
Was this any less traumatizing for the victims and their loved ones than was the sight of a giant dog lunging at Dyer's face was for her co-workers? Probably not. But 9News ran it anyway, because it was newsworthy -- and that was the right choice.
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Even though video of what happened to Dyer is news, too, Channel 9 news director Patti Dennis phoned Westword to request that the video be taken down. However, we're applying the same standards in this case as we would with stories that don't feature members of the media. To see the video, click here -- and watch the Today show report below. Note that there's a weird pause, possibly an edit, at about the 1:18 mark, during a reference to clips of the incident on the web.
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More from our Follow That Story archive: "Video: Sydney Spies fights for sexy yearbook photo in Today show interview."