Re "Terror Trial Judge Wary of TV, Won't Rule It Out," Jan. 10:
The very fact that Zacarias Moussaoui has asked for his terrorism trial to be televised is good enough reason to see that it doesn't happen. Doubtless he wants to be seen by his fellow cult members around the world as a martyr so that he may incite them to further acts of murder. And Court TV stands to make a fortune in the process, so of course they think it's a great idea.
The lawyers for both parties are asking Judge Leonie Brinkema to overturn a ban on cameras in federal courtrooms so that their agendas may be met, regardless of the platform it provides for terrorists and the danger it brings to testifying witnesses. I say if a member of the public can't get a ticket for a seat in the courtroom, he or she can just as easily read the transcript of the trial after the fact.
I generally agreed with Bill Press' Jan. 6 commentary, "Televise Moussaoui's Trial," but he failed to mention one most-important reason for it and other terrorists' trials to be--if not actually televised, perhaps for security reasons--at least videotaped. Having such a record would be invaluable in years to come. The tapes can later be released to the public when the reasons the authorities now have for withholding them become no longer valid.
Furthermore, Court TV may be requested to delay the actual airing of any session by a day or so. This will permit editing out any portions that are found objectionable. Court TV might readily agree to a delay because it will be reinforcing what readers would then be reading in the daily press and in magazines. The historic significance for our children of actually being able to see such events would in no way be diminished.