1. The measures taken were concrete and specific, on both the levels of production and distribution. As I mention farther along in my discussion, MSNBC increased the lag between camera capture and television broadcast to ensure greater editorial control over live events. Even more revealing for the scholar, of five local Los Angeles stations I contacted in hopes of obtaining a recording of the broadcast, only one, the local Paramount affiliate, was willing to offer a videotape copy, at a cost of $450.00. All other local affiliates refused to provide research copies of the broadcast, all mentioning that the event had brought them a degree of criticism that they could not afford the further discussion on the issue of Jones’ suicide to which, ostensibly, scholarly research and discussion might lead.

2. The Orange County Register, May 1, 1998, “Freeway Suicide Televised” A1.

3. City News Service, “Suicide,” May 1, 1998.

4. City News Service, “Sniper,” April 30, 1998.

5. Los Angeles Times, May 2, 1998.

6. “Gazette: Death by Bureaucracy. PWA Said HMO Made Him Do It,” POZ Magazine 9/98

7. Orange County Register, “Freeway Suicide Televised,” May 1 1998, A1.

8. City News Service, “Sniper,” 4/30/98.

9. USA Today, May 4, 1998 3D.

10. KCBS Channel 2000, “Talk Back: Does TV News Coverage Go Too Far?” 5/1 –7/98, accessed 6/16/99.

11. See, for example, various treatments in Crimp (1988), Crimp and Rolston (1990), Crimp (2002), Bad Objects Choices (1991), Halperin (1995) , Gever, Grayson, and Paramar (1993), and others. For a pre-AIDS discussion of a similar dynamic linking homophobia and syphilis, see Hockquenghem ([1972] 1996), etc.

12. In California, the legal standard for felony prosecution for passing on the HIV virus through sexual contact is somewhat stricter than elsewhere. But it still turns around requirements of discourse, not individual privacy, since affirmative defense is allowed for consenting adults. According to the ACLU, felony prosecution requires knowledge of one’s own infection, non-disclosure of one’s HIV status to one’s partner, unprotected sex, and intent to infect. American Civil Liberties Union Freedom Network, “State Criminal Statues on HIV Transmission,”
, 6/2000, accessed 8/31/03.

13. Chicago Tribune, “Freeway Suicide Captured on Television,” May 1, 1998, 8.

14. See note 7.

15. NPR, All Things Considered, “L.A. Freeway Suicide Roundtable,” May 1 1998.

16. ABC, Good Morning America, “Suicide on the Freeway,” May 3, 1998.

17. ABC News, Good Morning America May 3 1998, provisional transcript.

18. Howard Rosenberg, “The Russian Roulette of Live News Coverage,” Los Angeles Times, May 2, 1998, F1.

19. Howard Rosenberg, “Reviving Argument for Televised Executions,” Los Angeles Times, December 2, 1998 F1.

20. Rosenberg May 2 1998.

21. KCBS Channel 2000, “Talk Back: Does TV News Coverage Go Too Far?” 5/1 –7/98, accessed 6/16/99.

22. Los Angeles Times, “Letters Desk,” May 9 1998 B7.

23. Los Angeles Times, “HMOs Perform Best for the Healthy, Doctors Say,” 7/29/99 A1.

24. Orange County Register, “Victim’s Troubles Prove Confusing to AIDS Activists,” May 2, 1998 A16.

25. Reuters News Service, “Africa Greets a Medicines Pact With Anger and Criticism,” 8/28/03.

26. I do not mean by the term “double pandemic” to connote “The Second Pandemic” of AIDS-based discrimination treated in the videotape of that title produced by Amber Hollibaugh in 1987—1988. For a discussion, see Crimp (1988).

27. Jones’ manipulation of live interrupt coverage falls far from the varying goals centered around “identificatory mimesis” to guide community-specific educational public access television (Freedman 1998, 251) or activist video (Juhasz 1995, 75) as a framework for safer sex education or AIDS advocacy on television.

28. Sabatini’s claims may be weighed against the more rigorously detailed studies of media coverage of terrorist acts. See, for example, Paletz and Schmid, Terrorism and the Media (Newbury Park: Sage Publications, 1992) for a useful collection.


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