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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 April, 2004, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
CBS Diana pictures:Your view

The American television network, CBS, has broadcast previously unpublished pictures of Diana, Princess of Wales, as she lay dying in the wreckage of her car in Paris in 1997.

CBS said the pictures were from a confidential 4,000-page French report on the incident.

But the network insisted the photographs were "in no way graphic or exploitative".

Mohammed al-Fayed, whose son Dodi also died in the crash, described the decision to broadcast as 'distasteful'.

Was CBS right to show the pictures? Send us your views.


This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of the opinion we have received:

I don't know why they can't leave this girl to rest in peace
Alison Gibson, Annandale New Jersey USA
This is typical of the US type of what they call journalism. I think it is despicable and they should look at it from the point of view if it was member of their family would they want the picture broadcast. I don't know why they can't leave this girl to rest in peace and allow the Princes some respite.
Alison Gibson, Annandale New Jersey USA

So the pictures of Ms Jacksons breasts are an outrage but showing a dying persons last private moments without their families says so is not. Clearly US culture has bizarre standards
John, Redditch, UK

Don't waste your time or energy on the global warming, wars and poverty - Di and her photo are the real issue!
Lenka, UK

an utter disgrace
Rachel Hill, Worcester
An total invasion of privacy and an utter disgrace
Rachel Hill, Worcester

Why should we be surprised? The media showed all the way through her life what lengths they would go to for a picture or story, why would they change?
Mark, Mark, Worksop

The only thing more tiring than celebrity news, is dead-celebrity news. This was a pretty mundane road traffic accident and the story has been long milked for all it's worth.
Linda Volti, London

Let this be a lesson for all of us. If you find yourself dying and being photographed, flash a little flesh, and the American TV networks won't touch it...
Gavin Saunders, London

Greed! I just wonder how much money people and/or companies are making out this!
Nick, Aberdeen , Scotland

How many times have we seen President Kennedy being shot? What's the difference?
CH, GB

In life the media gave her no peace. In death they act no better. Surely the paparazzi culture that plagued her life could have left her dying moments to herself. It is a sorry indictment of our obsession with celebrity that the media thinks it must share this sad moment with the rest of the world, irrespective of the feelings of their immediate families. The photographs were 'in no way graphic or exploitative'. Perhaps not, but the fact that the network showed them is insulting to the extreme.
Tahir, Leeds, UK

Don't blame the press until you have had a good look at yourself
Liz, Cardiff, UK
The problem is not what the media are prepared to show it is what the public want to see. Without an audience the pictures would never have been shown, don't blame the press until you have had a good look at yourself and decided whether you are feeding this phenomenon.
Liz, Cardiff, UK

As a journalist, I'm sorry to say that 'news is news', and the only thing that surprises me is that it's taken six years for these photos to be aired. Good taste/bad taste doesn't enter the frame: we live in a world where it is deemed acceptable to air photographs of the dead, be they victims of terrorism, combat fatalities or murder victims. With that in mind, why the moral concern over the Diana photos? As one of the world's most 'news-worthy' characters, I find it baffling that people believe her to be somehow 'immune' to all this - as if her untimely death and the fact that she is survived by two sons somehow places her 'above' the countless corpses we see on the news and in the papers every, single day.
Amanda Hallay, Paris, France

I haven't actually seen any of the pictures but from what I have heard in the news it disturbs me that the media would go to such lengths to show these pictures or is it just a ratings war over there? Why can't the media just leave Diana alone, surely you have all had a fair share of the story of when she died? Is it not time to leave it to rest now and find something else to talk about?
Mary, Northumberland

I don't know why we are kicking up such a fuss. On English TV we showed that poor black man choking to death in the police station with his trousers round his ankles. How do you think his family felt?
Julie Marshall, Shooters Hill, London

It is hypocrisy to blame CBS for insensitivity. They only show what the people want to see.
Milan, Czech

What sort of a ghoul takes a photo of a dying woman?
Lynne Hobson, Chester
Of course they shouldn't have been shown, but it was only a matter of time before somebody published them. What is truly shocking is not that they have been shown, but that somebody took them in the first place. What sort of a money grabbing ghoul takes a photo of a dying woman?
Lynne Hobson, Chester

CBS should be sued. The paparazzi were to blame for her death and even in death, she has no privacy from scavenge mongering journalists..
Nita, Leicester, UK

I was quite annoyed by the press coverage given to this 'story'. Especially given that this was front page news in the tabloids. Read all about Di's family being annoyed about these pictures (and fair enough I suppose) and you WILL share their outrage!! And then turn the page to see graphic pictures of burning kids in Iraq. What about their families? Why are we so shocked at the thought of white people dying but don't seem to care when the skin is brown?
Paul, Surbiton, UK

We see death on the news on TV every day, why does it become oh so much more terrible just because it's Diana? Isn't it about time we got over this deification of her?
Daniel, oxford

CBS will lose out big time, and as for the companies that paid for commercials - this will also be detrimental to their products. Shame on you USA. Wembley
Freddie HARRIS, Wembley

There are lines that just should never be crossed
Natalie, UK
Categorically not. It just reinforces how despicably low the levels of morality are within the media. There are lines that just should never be crossed.
Natalie, UK

Why not? She spent her entire life looking for as much publicity as possible.
Peter, Nottingham, UK

If CBS show the Abraham Zapruder film of Kennedy's assassination i.e. the death of their own head of state, and that is somehow in the public interest, then I don't see how this can or should be considered differently - conspiracy theories in both cases notwithstanding.
Frank, Essex

These people knew what was going to be shown. They have the choice to watch or not. We see pictures of people dying in Iraq from war and in Africa from starvation all the time. Why is it not insensitive to view these?
Holden, UK

Pictures of JFK being murdered in Dallas were and still are being shown on TV screens across the world. I would say though that American TV stations were quick to be critical of Al-Jazeera during the war when they showed dead US soldiers. At the end of the day CBS has gained a lot of publicity through it and viewers in the US for what is a cheap news headline grabbing story.
Gary McDaniel, Scotland

It's just another example of press abuse
Philip Turner, London

It's just another example of press abuse. Why is it they can get away with this behaviour? Sickening.
Philip Turner, London

Pictures of my own mother being cut out of her crashed car were printed in a newspaper a few years ago. A "nobody" or a "celebrity", the media doesn't care, as long as it gets its scoops and exclusives and makes a healthy profit. CBS, you disgust me.
Terry, UK

Every day civilians are killed in Iraq and in the Middle East, we see the images on our screens, is that acceptable?
Parrie, Southampton, UK

Whether you believe the conspiracies or not, what possible good could it do showing these photographs? I notice that the US media are quick to condemn other countries for showing photographs that are distasteful to Americans, perhaps it's time they started showing a little more consideration for the rest of the world - before they really do alienate themselves from everyone.
Paul, UK

It is done for no other reason than to boost ratings
Bob Taj, Nottingham

This is not journalism; it is done for no other reason than to boost ratings. We should ban these organisations.
Bob Taj, Nottingham

I have to agree with a comment made by Chris Moyles on Radio 1 this morning. While the papers in the UK are quite indignant about the CBS decision to show images of a critically injured Princess Diana, they were all too happy just couple of days ago to cover their front pages with distressing images of Gloria Hunniford's grief at having to bury her daughter. Surely some degree of double standards as to what is newsworthy??
Steve, Ely

Can't see what all the fuss is about. These were bound to come out at some point & besides, there doesn't seem to be much censorship of JFK having his brains blown out, or Martin Luther King & Robert Kennedy being shot dead. Most people will say 'how awful' but be secretly scouring the web to satisfy their own insatiable morbid fascination. It's human instinct.
Colin Dillon, Crowthorne, UK

Appalling insensitivity.
Jo Cotton, Deal, UK

They should be punished for such clear invasion of privacy
Susan Nickson, Oldham, England

There is no way on this earth that the people responsible for taking such photographs should receive acknowledgement or financial gain from these pictures. They should be punished for such clear invasion of privacy. If we have such a good relationship with the USA given then perhaps this should also be brought into question.
Susan Nickson, Oldham, England

I think it is crass and completely insensitive of the US TV channel to do this.
Angus Spence, Forfar, Scotland

It was no more right or wrong than the BBC showing images of the dying and of corpses in war zones, terrorist attacks and famine areas - are not their families equally deserving of consideration?
Lynn, Bucks

Although, not a Princess Diana fan, I find this completely tasteless... And this coming from the country that made a big fuss over Janet Jackson's boob display. Their censorship ideals need some reviewing I think.
Mary, Ireland

The trouble with this sort of thing is that people watch it
David, Cornwall UK

The trouble with this sort of thing is that people watch it. They're interested enough to stay tuned in. If they didn't, the program would be a failure. We are our own worst enemy!
David, Cornwall UK

Arguably as many people were 'affected' by the death of Ayrton Senna almost 10 years ago. The BBC has chosen to display pictures of this accident on this website today. What's the difference? At least Senna had talent.
AP, Edinburgh

What is distasteful about it - you have a choice to look at the pictures. It is fact and interesting. Di courted the media and as usual when it "seems" to be against her it is exploiting her. Wake up, this is history - I don't hear Di's or Dodi's family screaming about Iraq.
Harry Norman-Walker, Woking, England

It is quite ironic, how US television enforces family values by filtering out bad language, and causing an uproar over the "Janet Jackson" incident, yet on the other hand ignores those very same values by showing the death of a person that has been so dear to so many people.
Marion , Munich, Germany

I don't understand why nobody tried to use these tragic deaths for a positive campaign for seatbelts. There was only one survivor and he wore a seatbelt.
Anke, Oxford, UK

Is respect for the dead dead itself?
Leigh, Edinburgh, UK
Is respect for the dead dead itself? Publishing photos of the dead and dying only further desensitises these tragic events. Disgusting!
Leigh, Edinburgh, UK

I think that it is tragic and distasteful to once again invade the privacy of the Royal family. When will they leave Diana to rest in peace and let her sons live their lives the best they can,
Samantha, Spain

The broadcast of the images was a cynical attempt to exploit the fascination in the US with all things connected to the Royal Family. The US TV networks seem to have no qualms about showing pictures of a violent death in order to boost their ratings. The pictures only caused hurt and pain to the family and those who respect that the dead should be allowed to rest in peace.
Roger, Taunton, UK

For goodness sake, it's not that bad. There are more important things going on in the world.
Ally, Dublin, Ireland

My immediate reaction is "who cares?". On the other hand, anything that annoys or upsets those with a ludicrous interest in, or obsession with this the royals is probably to be regarded as a good thing.
Julian Fowler, Bentham, UK

No one opposed when demonstrating Saddam's sons' corpses. It was also disgusting to see them. All are humans. I do not see anything wrong in publishing them unless it was done with bad intentions to insult Diana, who is no more.
Devaka Jayasuriya, Colombo, Sri Lanka

I fail to understand what the fuss is all about
Luke, Oxford, England
I have not seen the pictures myself, and I shall not search for them. But, I fail to understand what the fuss is all about. Is it showing pictures of someone dead or dying or is it showing a British person dead or dying? On Saturday we saw pictures of Rantissi bleeding to death on television channels and of him dead the following day. No one complained about that.
Luke, Oxford, England

The function of the media in this world has extended beyond our desire. The media has degraded itself to an extent where everything organic has become nickels and dimes. I am appalled at the quality of "news-coverage" that we witness today.
Michael Vrede, Copenhagen, Denmark

I haven't seen the pictures but the very thought sends shivers through me. Some day in the future, when nothing remains sacrosanct anymore and all decency is gone, we may regret that we ever let the media loose.
Nigel, UK

Granted, the publishing of Diana's pictures are disgusting but the words "double" and "standards" spring to mind.
Razia Wen Bobat, Bolton, UK

Considering 200,000 Americans felt outraged enough to complain at the sight of Janet Jackson's right breast, I wonder how many will complain about this?
Paul, Cardiff, UK

It's strange how a country can have such an outcry over a bare breast but think nothing of showing a dying princess.
Georgina, London, UK

I think it is distasteful but I am not in the least bit surprised that it is the Americans who have taken it upon themselves to show this on telly. My heart goes to the princes. Let the poor late princess rest in peace as the saying goes!
Wairimu, London, England

While it's shocking that CBS have broadcast these pictures, I feel it's wrong for Charles Spencer to comment on this. Isn't this the same person that's cashing on the nation's grief for Diana's death by charging the people an admission fee to visit her grave?
Mark, Wallasey, UK

Please show the pictures. Maybe the message will sink in that (a) seatbelts should be worn on every trip, (b) drivers should be sober and obey the speed limits, and (c) Parisian roads should be designed to be less lethal.
Marc Brett, Teddington, UK

Just a few weeks ago Janet's nipple sparked a national outrage
Alexander Signer, Paris

I'm not so much bothered by the fact that CBS showed a dead corpse, regardless whose body it is. It's more the hypocrisy and the deterioration of the US value system which appals me. Just a few weeks ago Janet's nipple sparked a national outrage. As a consequence, CBS offered an official apology and announced the censoring of future live events to protect its youth from similar disturbing images. Dead bodies, apparently, fall into a different category,
Alexander Signer, Paris

It's a disgrace to the memory of Diana. And I can't think of the words to describe its effect on her family and friends. How sick are people to want to see such things. How insensitive are the people who decided to publish them. Please leave Diana to rest in peace, and their family their memories.
Allison, Leicester

We have repeatedly seen the grisly last moments of JFK on British television, so why the indignation in this case. Its just moral hypocrisy to criticise this particular airing, and it undoubtedly down to fact that it is Diana, rather than that the content is inappropriate or offensive.
Jason, Kent

Why can't people just leave the poor Princess to rest in peace?
Mia, Aylesbury

The saddest thing is that there are still so many people around the world whose own lives are so empty and dull that they need to spend their evenings watching this kind of nonsense. The celebrity cult that surrounded Diana and is perpetuated by stories like this is deeply unhealthy for all concerned (except of course for the bank accounts of CBS and their like!)
Stuart W, London

I thought the Americans claimed us as their friends, but obviously only when it suits them.
Linda Blake, Manchester UK

How many times has the BBC shown the images of President Kennedy's assassination?
Angus, Swindon, UK

It is indeed tasteless to show these pictures. But how many times has the BBC shown the images of President Kennedy's assassination? How often have those scenes been slowed-up and magnified for increased effect? Do we think the Americans might be offended? I don't suppose we have ever asked.
Angus, Swindon, UK

Would the journalists at CBS want pictures of their loved ones dying to be broadcast? No, I wouldn't imagine they would. For this reason alone they shouldn't have done it.
Amanda, England

No, No and No again. Why on earth CBS used photographs of our country's dying Princess in what seems to be a ratings war is beyond me. And I thought that the paparazzi were vultures. Disgusting. I hope that any profits that they make from the publication of these photos is donated to charities that Princess Diana supported and not to line the pockets of this stupid companies directors.
Emma, Kent, UK

Why can't we leave this poor woman to rest in peace!
Debbie Crewe, Hilversum, The Netherlands

As an English citizen, I was absolutely appalled at this new revelation. Why can't we leave this poor woman to rest in peace!
Debbie Crewe, Hilversum, The Netherlands

As an American now living in England I must say that insensitive actions like this do not make me proud to be an American.
Peyton Spears, Yateley, Hampshire, UK

Does it matter? I have had enough of reading about Diana, can you let her rest in Peace?
Kirt Wakefield, Swindon, UK

We the public, are getting what we deserve
Peter Mitchell, Birmingham, England

There is no right or wrong, we the public are getting what we deserve. Our insatiable appetite for the goriest of details doesn't surprise me in the slightest. The sooner people realise the best button on the remote control is the OFF button the better.
Peter Mitchell, Birmingham, England

Despicable - CBS have shamed America with their decision to broadcast such pictures. No sense of decorum whatsoever.
Andy Mc, Basingstoke, UK

Another example of the excesses of the media. There is no need to show these pictures, it must be very disturbing to the Princes. What purpose does it serve other than to up CBS's viewing figures? A cheap and nasty trick by the gutter media.
Terry, Epsom, England

There is absolutely no justification for broadcasting the photos on live television. It's six years since the death of Diana yet the press still continue to rake it up as news. It's time to let Diana's memory rest in peace and let her family get on with their lives without been constantly reminded of the tragedy they faced.
Naomi, Frome

Why are we so wimpish?
Lester Stenner, Weston super Mare UK

Yes. Why are we so wimpish that we cannot see a picture of a dead body? She loved being the centre of attraction in life, what you reap you sow in death. Grow up all you wimps and get in the real world.
Lester Stenner, Weston super Mare UK

No, they were not right.
Susan, Scotland

Princess Diana is dead, showing these pictures cannot be justified. What does it achieve other than to know that she her face was unharmed? These pictures, if at all should have been sent to her family to perhaps indicate that she was being attended to in her dying moments. Nothing justifies this tasteless display, not even to satisfy public curiosity. I think more often than not the media justifies its actions by saying "It's in the interest of the public". Somehow one did not expect something like this from CBS.
Andie, Sydney, Australia

Why can't people just leave poor Diana alone! It's her sons I feel sorry for!
Richard Lewis, Bangor, Wales

Would the American public accept the screening of pictures of dead, dying or mutilate bodies of their sons who have died in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq? Surely the issue transcends the celebrity of Diana? Who would wish to see their mother, sibling, daughter exploited in this fashion?
Jon Waples, London

It is over, it happened, what the hell is so distasteful about seeing the pictures?? Besides, the public made her what she is, we have the "right" to know and see it all.
Leeanne, South Africa

CBS' decision beggars belief
Andy, London, UK

I'm amazed at the double-standards at work in US broadcasting at present. It is apparently a national scandal when CBS inadvertently screens a mere flash of a breast from a living woman, but it is deemed acceptable to show for 15-seconds the face of a dying woman. CBS' decision beggars belief.
Andy, London, UK

Life dedicated to help others, a colourful beauty so deep. She was the most photographed woman on earth most definitely the English rose. But now black and white photos of her death are portrayed in order to gain ratings and money, no wander the world starts to turn its back on America.
Alan Redman, Plymouth

It was pretty disgusting and tacky of CBS, but the fact is that the pictures have been widely circulated on the internet since the Princess' death.
Sue Hudson, London, UK

CBS were only thinking of their viewers figures - not of the families of Dodi or Diana!
Clare, Northern Ireland

I am utterly revolted by the constant intrusiveness of the media. It doesn't matter if it is Diana, Saddam's sons or the unknown victim of an accident. The seemingly ever present media should show some restraint and decency in their reporting of any event. I want reportage, not exploitation, from the media.
Caroline Townley, Australia

I think that it is sick that a national treasure such as Diana has been internationally broadcasted dieing
Liam Jackson, Tiverton, Devon

Who cares ?
Dave, Sheffield, England

The media in general produced hundreds of stories concerning the death of Diana. We had speculation, in-depth analysis, documentary, comment, her last day reconstructed with actors, souvenirs ...the list goes on. The moments of her death have been described in great detail many times before. Adding pictures to these accounts merely reinforces an already over exposed tasteless campaign.
Keith, Cambridge

It shows contempt for the feelings of the relatives
Terry Emerson, London, UK
The exploitation of anyone's death is contemptible, ghoulish and disgusting. There is nothing sacred left, even the last moments on this earth of two young people. This is not journalism, it is done for no other reason than to boost ratings. It shows contempt for the feelings of the relatives.
Terry Emerson, London, UK

CBS could have gained greater credibility had they invested the same energy on getting to the truth - that's what remains a mystery at large.
Raja, Birmingham

How many dead bodies are shown on BBC, ITV, Channel Four etc on a daily basis from the many conflicts and wars occurring in the world. Does anyone give a thought about the pain and suffering that this causes their families. I don't think that this kind of footage should be shown at all. Or does one rule apply to a "celebrity" and another rule applies to a "nobody"
Calvin Dick, London

What does showing these pictures actually achieve? Does it actually do any good? Are there any positives outcomes to showing them? I can't see any at all. The only thing is does achieve is to cause, yet again, more hurt to her family. They don't need any reminders that she has gone, they must live with it every day. Let her rest in peace.
Sarah, Wales

As usual the media go ahead and do whatever they want, making themselves a heap of cash in the process. There is absolutely no justification for broadcasting images of a dead person, let alone such a beloved member of the Royal Family. I hope this causes as much outrage and criticism as possible, and possibly restore an element of dignity and respect to our broadcasting and press, which seems to have been passed over in favour of exclusivity and sales.
James, London, UK

No, I don't think they should have been shown, as the decision to show them will have been made on viewing figures rather than consideration for those close to her, who suffered a real loss. This international obsession with Diana has gone on quite long enough and I think it's time she was left to rest in peace. Also, while I have great sympathy for Mr Al Fayed for the loss of his son, his refusal to accept that it was an accident is, I believe, partly to blame for the continuing obsession with that night. Perhaps it's time he let go too?
Phil, UK

What is the point of showing it nearly six years after the tragedy ? It is clearly uncalled for! The CBS network has demonstrated it is insensitive towards the feelings of the Royal family and especially the two children of the late Princess. At least, the network could have sought their permission before airing the pictures !
G. Shamin Kumar, Singapore

I don't see why not. If we can show pictures of corpses dead for days and stitched up for the cameras, i.e. Saddam's sons, then this is far less of a moral concern. At least these pictures of Diana don't break the Geneva Convention.
Paul Blaylock, Newcastle, UK

We see people dying on TV all the time. Why are we expected to get upset about these pictures in particular? Shouldn't we be worrying more about why people are needlessly dying every day?
Graham, Brighton, UK

I imagine it must be very painful for Diana's children and family to have these images broadcast. Coming to terms with the death of a loved one is hard enough without having to endure this continual intrusion into private grief. We seem to have arrived at a point in society where nothing is sacred, everything is up for grabs. Let us hope that it is not to late to reverse this trend. The loss of respect can lead to blinding fundamentalism of all hues. Let us be thankful for the soul of Diana that she at least has found peace.
Ken, Brighton




SEE ALSO:
US TV airs Princess Diana tapes
05 Mar 04  |  Americas


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