You have the right to shut up and go away

In a nice morbid bit of legal action, a judge is having to block footage and photos of the death of a Seaworld trainer from being made public. Under State Law in Florida documents, photographs and video from criminal investigations go to the public record after the investigation concludes. The media say they want to see the footage and pictures to get a better understanding of what happened that led to the trainers death. Seaworld and, more importantly, the family of the trainer don't want this footage to be released, not because they are guilty of any wrong doing, but because they don't want pictures and footage of the woman's death published anywhere.

Of course the media say they wouldn't do it, but since NBC didn't have much of a problem showing footage of a fatal accident at the recent Winter Olympics who the hell is going to believe them. If those pictures and that footage go into the public record I guarantee you'll be able to find them online within 24 hours. Its a fairly safe bet that clips will be on the television complete with an anchor person doing there best stern face telling the viewers that the footage they're about to see is graphic in nature and not for young viewers. Afterward there will comments about how horrible and tragic it all is before segueing over to weather and traffic reports.

There is no mystery here. The details have been released in full. We know what happened. If the family does not want footage released, that should be honored. There's no debate here. Even that little Spider Jerusalem part of my brain that screams "The TRUTH no matter what!" is silent. The media know the truth, now its time to learn respect.

This is jogging up some particularly bitter memories. There was a plane crash well over ten years ago. My Dad reserve unit lost a team that had gone to Florida on a mission. They are an engineering unit, meaning they build things. If a landing field needs built in the middle of a desert, its unit's like my father's who get it done. Plane crash was due to weather if memory serves. My father lost friends on that flight.

My father, along with others then served as liaisons to the individual families who lost loved one and aided them through dealing with the paperwork that came up as well as keeping them informed as to what was going on with the incident investigation and memorial services. On a Friday my Dad was called into a briefing explaining exactly what had caused the crash. This information was going to be shared with the families the following day.

That night I was working to door at the bar, and it was a slow enough night that I could follow what was going on on the numerous TVs as the band was playing the obligatory Van Morrison numbers. There I stood, watching our local news give out the details of the crash. I took a break from in position, called the local TV station running the segment and told them that the families of the people who died had now been informed yet. I'm not an official anything so I kind of got brushed off. I still don't watch that channel, so no CBS for me. The next day my father got to walk right into a nice "why should we even talk to you since we got all the details off the news".

Anger. Perfectly justified anger. The truth. No matter who it hurt. No matter that the story would not have lost any relevance if it had been sat on for just 24 hours. People weren't even thinking about that crash anymore. It had been well over a month until the investigation had conclusion.

But, if it bleeds, it leads.

Like the blood on the ground after the plane crashed.

Like the blood in the water at Seaworld.

This is what happens when ethics take a backseat to desire for ratings.