Should The Koran-burning Be Televised?
Hours before a Florida preacher said that he had called off his plans to burn copies of the Koran on Saturday, a senior executive at Fox News told the Baltimore Sun that his network had decided not to cover the event. "If we tried to cover everyone who wants us to stick a camera in front of them, we'd run out of cameras pretty fast each day. But this is really about just using some judgment," Michael Clemente, SVP for news and editorial, said in the interview. Other news organizations indicated that while they would no doubt report on the event, they would not distribute images of the burning. Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times told the Associated Press (which itself said it would not run pictures of the event) that while his paper has no policy against running photos that might give "widespread offense," running pictures of the book burning would contribute "nothing substantial to a story about book-burning, so the offense seems entirely gratuitous." Each of the major television networks said that a decision on what photos or videos will -- or won't -- run will be made after the event takes place -- if it does at all. It was not clear whether the Gainesville preacher, Terry Jones, might yet go ahead with the Koran burning. He told reporters early today (Friday) that a Florida imam, Mohammad Musri, had offered to set up a meeting with the imam of the so-called ground-zero mosque in New York to discuss moving it elsewhere in exchange for Jones giving up his Koran burning. However Musri, in an interview with CNN, later denied Jones's account.