While Meredith Vieira‘s replacement on The View spent the afternoon setting the bar at a new low with her expletive-laden diatribe against Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch and the New York Post at yesterday’s Matrix Awards, the co-anchor of Today was talking about weightier subjects.
When the newly-minted Matrix winner was asked about the media backlash against NBC News for its decision to air images and video footage from the “manifesto” they received from the Virginia Tech shooter Vieira said: “I totally understand it. I think that NBC understands it as well. If you’re a family member it’s very hard to see the pictures of Cho. I also understand the news division’s decision that there are absolutely reasons to show some of those things in order to get a clearer understanding of who that person is. I think that their decision to curtail it was a good one. It’s very hard for them to gauge what a reaction will be. I know it wasn’t done in a prurient way at all. They came upon what was an amazing amount of material from a man that nobody can understand. I don’t know if after reading it you understand him any better but you have a little more insight into what he was doing for that period of time — not just the two hours between the two shooting — but the past two months. You see that it wasn’t somebody that lost it in the moment but was extremely premeditated. … I’m glad that it’s not being shown anymore.”
When asked about her thoughts on reporting during this intense news cycle, Vieira said: “If you’re in news — I don’t want to say you enjoy it — but that’s why you’re there.”
“It’s great to be on top of these stories and be the one that’s delivering them on a daily basis. Obviously, the Virginia Tech shootings stands on its own as the worst mass shooting in American history but then to have the whole issue with Imus of racism in this country — what you can and can’t say — sometimes I think we’re beyond it and then I realize, we’re not. We saw two positive things come out of these stories. We’re seeing the people of this country embrace the people of Virginia Tech and we saw their strength. In the Imus case, we’re opening a dialogue and that’s important to do. Something was said, he paid the price and I think it’s important we not leave it there.”
— Diane Clehane
FishbowlNY Coverage of Matrix 2007: