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Why are 911 Tapes released to the media?

I can understand maybe if there was suspiscion something hinky was going on; someone could request access to the transcript of the tape; but it seems as though they are released almost as a matter of public record...that seems a little like an invasion of privacy to me...what do you ladies think?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:07 PM on Dec. 8, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Answers (12)
  • It goes without saying that I find this trend in our society deplorable. Starting back with OJ Simpson, it was repulsive to see tabloid "journalism" accepted as news. ... It smacks distastefully of the bread and circuses with which the decadent Roman emperors distracted the Roman citizens from the crumbling and corruption of their society.

    Unfortunately, the more these "reality" and staged-reality shows are accepted, the lower become our standards of personal high-mindedness.

    TV companies push this because it is a LOT cheaper for them than a bona-fide production ... but they have discovered a big market for this stuff. ... more to our shame.

    Answer by waldorfmom at 1:44 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • Yes.. i agree it sells or at least it gets you to listen or watch the media

    Answer by Aasiyah at 4:21 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • If you're referring to Tiger Woods, or Casey Anthony (the witch that killed her 2 1/2 year old then partied for 30 days before reporting her missing), Florida has what is called the Sunshine Law, and any and all court records and emergency services recordings can and will be available to the public within days of their being filed or recorded.

    It's a state by state thing. That, and "paparazzi" type reporters wanting to be the first to break a salacious celebrity or high-profile story to make a name for themselves, because certain headlines are bound to $ell!!


    Answer by LoriKeet at 4:38 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • OP reply

    Yes however people willingly sign up to be exploited on a reality show; that isn't the case when you need emergency services.

    I'm reminded of an older Dave Chapelle bit where he talks about it not being right because people are scared when they call 911 and say things or sound crazy and then what if he dies and that's the last thing his friends hear is him crying like a wuss on the phone...funny bit but true to an extent.

    I recall when William Shatners wife drowned in their family pool. The anguish and pain in his voice was palpable; it brought tears to my eyes; and here they were playing it over and over on the radio...that was a private moment no one needed to hear; as are 99% of 911 calls.


    Answer by Anonymous at 4:39 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • IDK I just think sure go ahead and release the stupid ones where some crack-head is calling 911 cause McDonalds won't give her a refund on her chicken nuggets; use that as entertainment; that's all good - but someone's actuall emergency!?? I just don't understand it...


    Answer by Anonymous at 4:41 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • Well 911 tapes are public records, just like anyone's arrest is publicly available. The reasons they air them is... 1: for shock value, 2: to better understand the situation, 3: money (if one news station acquires it other tabloids etc will pay for copies), and 4: ratings. Which do you think more people will tune into... the MJ 911 call on CNN played over and over or the news station who thinks it is deplorable and refuses to air such personal matters?

    Answer by Crissy1213 at 4:52 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • 911 tapes are a matter of public record. You can file a Freedom of Information Act request to hear them.

    And Crissy is QUITE correct. 911 tapes are played on the air because people will stay tuned for them. It's the same principle as drivers slowing down to gawk at an accident.

    Answer by gdiamante at 5:47 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • Ok; I guess my question then should have been - WHY are they public record?

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:11 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • Because so many of the public are gore mongers who enjoy listening to another person's pain/terror/fear/pain/anquish.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 6:17 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

  • I put pain twice. Maybe it's double important. OR a Fruedian slip.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 6:17 PM on Dec. 8, 2009

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