Should the Media Have Run the Cho Tape?

Many Americans believe the media was irresponsible, broadcasting the sick words of the Virginia Tech killer. They say that's what he wanted, that it might lead others to imitate him, that it brings even more pain to the families of the victims.

Now I respect and do not disagree with any of those points. But I ran the tape last night and I'd do it again. Here's why:

Evil must be exposed and Cho was evil. You can see it in his face, hear it in his voice. All of us who saw the tape will never forget it. And it made me and millions of others angry. Once evil is acknowledged, steps can be taken to contain it. And once anger is in the air, policy can change.

No matter how many laws we pass, you're never going to stop evil killers, they'll find a way. But public policy must make it more difficult for evil people. It's a lot harder for terrorists to kill Americans today than it was before 9/11. And that's because new laws and better security have been imposed.

In the Cho case, we need two things to be done:

First, any person who is deemed by a court to be a danger to himself or others, as Cho was in Virginia, can never buy a gun. Ever! That law should be passed immediately by Congress. And all states should be required to report court designated dangerous people to the FBI. Right now, no state is required to do that. Can you believe it?

Public safety trumps privacy. This is not a medical issue. The court makes the designation based on police and medical input.

Second, any institution or work place that accepts a person for employment or education must have access to FBI records. Virginia Tech didn't tell Cho's roommates that he was considered dangerous, even though the university knew. Can you believe that?! What if you were the parents of his roommates?

Now I predict the Commonwealth of Virginia will have to pay a massive amount in damages, because it didn't protect the students from Cho. So if a videotape of this monster can spur Americans to demand Congress pass new laws to protect the folks, then the videotape accomplishes a positive thing.

Again, I understand the other side. Not denigrating those arguments.

But "Talking Points" believes the greater good is served by protecting people from the likes of Cho. Action must be taken.

And that's "The Memo."

Most Ridiculous Item

Senator John McCain was in South Carolina campaigning when he broke into song after a question about how to deal with Iran.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That old — that old Beach Boys song, "Bomb Iran".

(singing) Bomb, bomb, bomb. Bomb...

(speaking) But anyway...


All right. The song was "Barbara Ann" by the Beach Boys, but the senator changed the lyrics to "Bomb Iran".

That parody originated with Rush Limbaugh, we believe.

Anyway, McCain's little number has upset some folks over at CNN.


BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It was an unsettling moment and an unfortunate subject to make a joke about, bombing Iran.


Ridiculous? You make the call. There's no question we're living in a very tense time.