The New York Times’ Bill Carter cranks out a last minute update on the networks grappling over what to televise regarding the exection of Saddam Hussein…
Though it was not known whether images of the execution would be released, the news divisions at ABC and CBS said that, should video become available, they will show some visual documentation of Saddam’s death but will not use overly graphic images or show complete execution.
NBC News, however, indicated it might go further. Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, said that network may show “a wide shot of Saddam hanging.” He said NBC would make its decision based on questions both of taste and of history.
“I think it might be appropriate at some point to see an image of Saddam after he is hanged,” Mr. Capus said, citing previous historic images of dictators who had been killed. “I think about that iconic image of Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania, lying literally in the gutter,” Mr. Capus said. “I want to do this with a measure of taste, but I don’t want to stand in the way of history.”
The cable news networks CNN and the Fox News Channel were less definitive about what limits they might not impose on any images of Mr. Hussein in death, saying they would decide after they saw what was available. (MSNBC, the cable channel owned by NBC, will follow the policies of NBC News.)