Note: We asked WTNH-8's veteran news director Kirk Varner about the Branford slaying case's disturbing video footage of the suspect's wife in an e-mail late Wednesday. He responded early Thursday when he saw that e-mail (not aware that Schwaid was calling the use of the footage by other stations "astounding"). Varner was, of course, aware that Schwaid had apologized on the web for using the video on the Atlanta station.
Anyway, Varner defended his station's uses of the video footage of the Branford murder suspect's wife collapsing. He called it a "necessary aspect" of his station's coverage of the nearby slaying.
"Yes, we ran the video in question, when Lan Ma learned of her husband
being charged with the murder of Dr. Toor, as did both WFSB and WTIC at
some point in their newscasts on Tuesday.
"We certainly understand that for some viewers it was difficult to watch
this video of her reacting to learning the news, but as you well know
that is sometimes the case when trying to show the many human aspects of
such a tragic story.
"While I respect Steve (Schwaid)'s decision to apologize for his station's actions,
we believe that the video was a necessary aspect of the coverage of the
story and stand by our decision to broadcast it."
Viewers have weighed in with disgust over use of the footage. Varner had no comment about Schwaid's surprise that other stations used the footage.