SBS6 draws ire in news controversy

Station b'casts exhumation

AMSTERDAM — The first political killing in Holland’s history is being followed up by a media first.

SBS6, a part of the SBS pan-Euro station group, secured the exclusive rights to broadcast the exhumation of controversial politician Pim Fortuyn’s remains.

The remains were disinterred Friday from the Fortuyn family burial site in Rotterdam and shipped to Italy in accordance with Fortuyn’s last wishes.

SBS said Fortuyn’s family asked it to broadcast the exhumation.

But in agreeing to do so, it breaks a tradition that sees exhumation as a private family affair and opened itself to charges ranging from tackiness to blatant exploitation from media watchdogs, political and religious groups, including a group of Dutch bishops.

Dutch rocked

The killing of the gay politician just a week before national elections in May, shook the foundations of Dutch society where politicians pride themselves on appearing openly in public without any special security.

SBS is known as a channel that has broken with staid Dutch media traditions before in covering crime and current events.

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