The AP’s David Bauder writes up how the networks covered the death of a 21-year-old Georgian luger during the evening newscasts Friday.
NBC showed a portion of the practice run three times, once stopping the video before Nodar Kumaritashvili slammed into a steel support column after hurtling over the track’s wall. NBC aired the video soundless, omitting the thudding clank at the moment of impact.
NBC, ABC and CBS also showed the video on its evening newscasts; CBS and NBC made it the top story and ABC the second one after the Afghanistan offensive. NBC, which usually carefully guards against use of Olympics video on other networks because it paid hundreds of millions of dollars for exclusive footage, released it because it was a significant news event, a spokesman said.
“We want to warn you the video you are about to see is difficult to watch,” ABC’s Diane Sawyer said on “World News.” On the “CBS Evening News,” the accident was shown three times – the last time in slow motion.