Kingsport Times News Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Sports

ESPN bans NY Post reporters after paper publishes nude photos of Erin Andrews

July 23rd, 2009 12:00 am by Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — ESPN banned staffers from the New York Post from appearing on any of its programming on Wednesday after the newspaper published photos this week taken from a video showing sideline reporter Erin Andrews nude in a hotel room.

The Post published three images from the blurry video Tuesday.


"While we understand the Post's decision to cover this as a news story, their running photos obtained in such a fashion went well beyond the boundaries of common decency in the interest of sensationalism," ESPN senior vice president of communications Chris LaPlaca said in a statement Wednesday night.


Newspaper reporters are regular guests on ESPN shows.


Post spokesman Howard Rubenstein did not immediately return a call from the Associated Press.


The Post was one of several TV networks and newspapers that aired or published images from the video, which Andrews' attorney says was shot without her knowledge. Andrews plans to seek criminal charges and file civil lawsuits against the person who shot the video and anyone who publishes the material, attorney Marshall Grossman said.


Kelly McBride, a journalism ethics expert with the Florida-based Poynter Institute, said it was unethical for news organizations to show images from the Andrews video.


"There is some illegally obtained material, leaked documents or video of a CIA person torturing a soldier, or stuff taken out of Gitmo, that I think has great public importance," McBride said. "But this doesn't do that at all.


"I actually do believe in giving the audience what they want to certain restraints, and I think this clearly crosses that line," she said. "I don't think with a straight face you could justify this on journalistic grounds."


The blurry, five-minute video shows Andrews standing in front of a hotel room mirror, fixing her hair in the nude. It's unknown when or where it was shot.


Andrews, 31, has covered hockey, college football, college basketball and Major League Baseball for the network since 2004, often as a sideline reporter during games.


A former dance team member at the University of Florida, she was something of an Internet sensation even before the video's circulation. She has been referred to as "Erin Pageviews" because of the traffic that video clips and photos of her generate, and Playboy magazine named her "sexiest sportscaster" in both 2008 and 2009.


It was not clear when the video first appeared on the Internet. Most of the links to it had been removed by Tuesday.


Every state but Iowa now has some law on the books dealing with video voyeurism, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime.


"With people disseminating these images over the Internet, there is a potential for people to abuse the victim again and again," said Ilse Knecht, the center's deputy director for public policy. "States have begun to recognize that it's not just some guy taking a picture and looking at it in a dark room."


Many of the state laws are based on a 2004 federal statute that prohibits recording anyone's "private areas" without consent under circumstances where the victim has a reasonable expectation of privacy.


Penalties vary in each state, ranging from fines to several years in prison. Connecticut's law can result in up to five years in prison.


Knecht said several states, including New York, have laws prohibiting people from disseminating these images. Knecht said it's not clear whether that applies to the media.


"If they knew at the time that the conduct was unlawful, then it's kind of sketchy," she said.

comments powered by Disqus