×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fox News Gives Viewers Choice to Peek at Grisly ISIS Images via Web

The rule at most TV-news operations has stood for decades: Violent images are to be used sparingly, even if they may be of extreme interest to viewers. Fox News Channel has come up with an intriguing way to step around this delicate issue, using digital media to give its audience access to controversial footage.

The 21st Century Fox-owned outlet has provided a link on its FoxNews.com so viewers can see footage of the burning of a Jordanian pilot held hostage by ISIS, the terrorist group that is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which recently been making headlines. A warning sign accompanies the opportunity. The use of digital media to offer viewers the choice to see the footage if desired could stand as a new way for TV-news operations to offer a look at problematic video that likely would prompt backlash if shown on TV.

“After careful consideration, we decided that giving readers of FoxNews.com the option to see for themselves the barbarity of ISIS outweighed legitimate concerns about the graphic nature of the video,” said John Moody, exec VP and executive editor of Fox News, in a statement. “Online users can choose to view or not view this disturbing content.”

The question of putting garish pictures on display has always fostered debate among TV-news outlets. TV, after all, is for the masses: adults and children together, people who tune in for soothing images, escape and relaxation as well as news of the world. But in an era when material that is normally forbidden is passed along easily via social-media outlets, how much longer can TV remain above the fray?

Fox News has run a still image from the footage of the murder released by ISIS, first used on last night’s broadcast of “Special Report With Bret Baier,” which airs in the early evening. “The images are brutal. They are graphic. They are upsetting. You may want to turn away. You may want to have the children leave the room — right now,” Baier told viewers in the moments before the picture was show. “But the reason we’re showing you this is to bring you the reality of Islamic terrorism. And to label it as such. We feel you need to see it.” The network used the image across its Tuesday-night primetime schedule.

Before putting the photo onscreen, Fox News offered viewers a graphic description of the Jordanian’s murder earlier in the day. Shepard Smith watched the full ISIS video, took six pages of notes and then delivered an on-air report about what he saw during his mid-afternoon program, “Shepard Smith Reporting.” “I watched it over the last hour,” Smith told viewers. “Not because I wanted to. I absolutely did not. I watched it because I felt like those of you who wanted to know what’s on it, but don’t want to watch it or be subjected to some sort of gruesome, descriptive adjectives, can get the information.”

Others have grappled with the issue. In September, Time Warner’s CNN displayed a video during early-afternoon program “Legal Views” that showed corpses of people who had been killed by Islamic militants. CNN has also aired audio of one of the English-accented militants who had appeared in ISIS videos circulating at the time showing journalists being beheaded by a member of that group.

More TV

  • Upcoming Fantasy Shows Like 'Game of

    10 Upcoming Shows to Watch if You're Mourning 'Game of Thrones'

    Millions of people’s Sunday night routines are ruined now that “Game of Thrones” is over, and there are holes in their hearts as big as the hole in The Wall that are aching for a new fantasy series to fill them. Several prequel series are on their way, but as there’s no word on just [...]

  • Game of Thrones Composer Ramin Djawadi

    'Game of Thrones' Composer Ramin Djawadi: 'I'm Still in Denial'

    Since the first season, Ramin Djawadi has composed the music for “Game of Thrones” and created the epic tunes, including the iconic theme song, heard over the series’ most memorable moments. With the series finished, he talked with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1 about his experience on the show and an upcoming 20-city [...]

  • TUPAC SHAKUR black panther collection

    ‘Defiant Ones’ Director to Helm Docuseries on Tupac, Who Assaulted Him in 1993

    Director Allen Hughes, who helmed the award-winning HBO documentary “The Defiant Ones,” has closed a deal with Tupac Shakur’s estate for a five-part docuseries for which he will have full access to all of the late rapper’s released and unreleased recordings, writings and poetry, according to an announcement from his rep. The announcement says the [...]

  • Ellen DeGeneres -- The Ellen Show

    Ellen DeGeneres Extends Daytime Talk Show Run Through 2022

    Ellen DeGeneres is sticking with her daytime talk show. DeGeneres announced Tuesday that she has signed a new deal to continue hosting “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” through 2022. There had been rumors for some time that DeGeneres was planning to leave the show when her current contract was up in 2020, something she leaned into [...]

  • How YouTube Is Trying to Get

    How YouTube Is Trying to Get Will Smith His First-Ever Emmy Nomination (EXCLUSIVE)

    YouTube could be the key to Will Smith finally earning a Primetime Emmy nomination — or win. The superstar Formerly Known as the Fresh Prince has been nominated for two Academy Awards, five Golden Globes and one Screen Actors Guild Award, and has won four Grammys (out of eight nominations). Yet a Primetime Emmy nomination [...]

  • Carpool Karaoke with Celine Dion on

    James Corden Gets Celine Dion to Sing 'Baby Shark,' Sail the Vegas Seas (Watch)

    Anyone who has seen Celine Dion’s long-running Las Vegas show knows she plays the comedienne almost as much as chanteuse, with a goofball quality that came in especially handy on a Monday night edition of James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke.” The 15-minute segment ended with Dion and Corden trading carpooling for ship-pooling and sailing around Las [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content