Tragedy at Virginia Tech
Steve says the network decided to air what it did after having the head of NBC's policy and standards group and others look at everything and decide what was unusable, such as "over-the-top profanity and incredibly violent images."
At the time of the report, Steve says, the largest unanswered question was "Why?" Steve believes that airing some of the videos helped give the public insight into that question. "This was a videotape that showed somebody on the edge. Somebody who was ready to blow. … To me, this started this dialogue again about what is going on in America. What about the society? What about the pop culture?" Steve says. "Sometimes good journalism is bad public relations. And I'm a father. Brian is. These are very difficult decisions."
If Steve had to make the same decisions again, would he? "I would. Because I believe it was newsworthy and I believe we handled it with as much sensitivity as we possibly could," Steve says. "This is a great discussion. … But just as when we lost President Kennedy, we didn't diminish any of that pain or the loss by knowing who Lee Harvey Oswald was. And this was a horrible tragedy for America. That's the bottom line on all of it. There's no question about it."