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The video of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting then-fiancee Janay Palmer may still be dominating news coverage, but the contents of that footage may be getting considerably less TV play.
Several television networks announced Thursday that coverage of Rice’s firing over the abuse and the fallout in the NFL will include less footage of the video — if any at all. As first reported by the AP, it’s now out of rotation unless there’s a “compelling” news rationale to bring it back. The graphic clip shows Rice punching Palmer in an Atlantic City casino elevator and dragging her outside.
To say the footage has caused outrage would be an understatement. Pundits have been firing at the NFL for not properly handling the situation when Rice and Palmer were first arrested for assault in February. After TMZ released the video Monday, and the Ravens promptly fired Rice, the story entered heavy rotation on the news and has prompted an internal investigation at the NFL over when leadership first saw the extent of the abuse.
“The video has been seen enough for viewers to clearly know what happened, and make their own judgments about what should happen next,” said Fox News Channel exec vp Michael Clemente. “Our judgment is that continuing to show it is simply overdoing it for shock value, and not for journalistic reasons.”
ESPN, which has had the most opportunity to cover the story, hasn’t played the clip since Tuesday. Palmer (now Rice, since the pair married in March, has spoken out against the running of the video.)
Drawing a great deal of negative attention to the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell, the Rice story has remained one of the most heavily covered of the week — even as President Obama publicly addressed the ongoing air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).
CNN, ABC and Fox Sports also were among those networks cutting back on the video.
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Jamie Lee Curtis