The BBC issued a statement in a lengthy defense of its decision to show extensive coverage of Whitney Houston’s funeral.
BBC was forced into the response after receiving 118 complaints about the way the broadcaster’s news channel had remained “glued” to the ceremony on Saturday, sparking accusations that it had been “voyeuristic”.
The British broadcaster admitted that the “duration” of its coverage was “too long” for some viewers and said it was “sorry” it was not to the “satisfaction” of all its audience.
However, BBC said the singer had made a “substantial impact on late twentieth century music” and that her death had come as “a great shock to the wider music industry and to her millions of fans”.
In its response,BBC admitted that the funeral service had lasted “significantly longer” than any broadcasters had expected and said once it had “committed” to showing the ceremony it would not have been “appropriate” to “opt out” any earlier than it did.
For some viewers BBC’s decision to focus so much time on the ceremony sparked concerns that other events were not being given enough coverage.
One said: “Yes, Whitney was wonderful singer but hours and hours of live broadcast of funerals on CNN and BBC and wherever is getting to feel kind of strange.”
Another viewer said: “Much as I understand sadness at the death of Whitney Houston would BBC and Sky kindly get on to some real news.”
“Kinda weird that Sky News and BBC News 24 are live streaming Whitney Houston’s Funeral. Feels voyeuristic,” added another viewer.
Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, R Kelly and a host of gospel stars performed at Saturday’s service at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey.
Actor Kevin Costner, who starred with Houston in The Bodyguard, fought back tears as he gave a moving eulogy.
The BBC issued a statement in a lengthy defense of its decision to show extensive coverage of Whitney Houston’s funeral
The BBC, which is also understood to have received about 35 complaints that it had interrupted coverage of the service, said the decision to air the funeral had been made “very carefully”.
BBC statement said: “We know from our audiences across the BBC as a whole that there was significant interest in the death of Whitney Houston, and we wanted to provide for that audience full, live coverage of the occasion.
“This was the funeral of a recording artist who had a substantial impact on late twentieth century music and whose death had come as a great shock to the wider music industry and to her millions of fans.
“This was reflected in our viewing figures and they show that the coverage of the funeral drove significantly higher audiences for the News Channel during this period compared to the rest of Saturday.
“We recognize that the duration of the coverage was too long for some viewers, but we kept the news ticker going on screen throughout and those who wanted other news of the day could have turned over to BBC 1 for the main tea time bulletin there.
“The funeral of Whitney Houston gave us an opportunity to bring a significant and moving story live to our audience. We are sorry if this wasn’t to the satisfaction of all our viewers but it is part of the News Channel function to be there when major stories take place, and we felt that this was such an occasion.”
A BBC spokeswoman said: “The News Channel’s coverage of Whitney Houston’s funeral reflected the significant interest in her sudden death as well as acknowledging the impact she had as a global recording artist.
“While some people felt there was too much coverage, we kept the news ticker going throughout, BBC1 ran the main teatime bulletin and there were normal radio bulletins along with the website and mobile app services, providing viewers with the best access to the day’s other news stories.”
Kyle Dyer, a veteran television anchor of Denver’s KUSA-TV, who was bitten in the face by an 85-pound dog during a live broadcast says she needed 70 stitches in her lips and nose and she still cannot talk.
Kyle Dyer wrote on her Facebook page over the weekend that she can’t talk because her mouth is stitched shut to let a skin graft take and so blood can circulate in her lips again.
The Facebook post says Kyle Dyer expects another procedure in the next few weeks.
Kyle Dyer was injured last week while doing an on-air segment with the dog’s owner and a firefighter who had rescued the Argentine Mastiff from an icy pond in suburban Lakewood the day before.
The veteran TV anchor was petting the dog’s head seconds before it bit her.
Kyle Dyer, who had been working at the Denver, Colorado station for over 15 years, had reconstructive surgery last Wednesday afternoon following the attack, and was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon.
In order to communicate, Kyle Dyer is using tools on her iPad to type out messages to loved ones.
Kyle Dyer was injured last week while doing an on-air segment with the dog's owner and a firefighter who had rescued the Argentine Mastiff from an icy pond in suburban Lakewood the day before
The dog, whose full name is Warrior Maximus, recently survived a harrowing rescue from a freezing pond and was on the show as part of a mini-reunion between him and his rescuers.
A video of Max trying unsuccessfully to find a way out of the pond was released last week, and provides some context for the background which led him to lash out the next day.
Though immediate reports said that the dog was not properly vaccinated and his owners have put out a statement saying that he was up-to-date with all of his shots.
“Max is current in his vaccinations. Max has no history of aggression. Max is a gentle, loving, family dog. Max is well mannered and obedient and he hardly barks,” said the dog’s owners The Robinsons in a statement.
“This incident truly is unfortunate and does not reflect Max’s disposition towards people.”
Now, Max has been caged by animal control officers and his owner, Michael Robinson has been fined.
In addition to comments wishing Kyle Dyer well, most Facebook respondents left angry messages blaming her for getting too close to the dog.
“I totally agree with all those saying it was her own fault and she should have known better,” wrote Cassandra Hughes Kramer.
“The dog was being a dog, defending itself in a stressful situation. He didn’t jump on her and maul her, he nipped her lip… and she shouldn’t have been trying to kiss him. Maybe it’s a hard lesson to learn, but hopefully she learned it.”
A number of viewers also expressed concern that the dog would be euthanized as a result of the incident, which was something they appeared angry about.
“It was clearly human fault. Why should the animal be blamed for both the owner a Kyle’s mistake?
“Hope he isn’t put down, it would be a crime,” wrote Bruno Naletto.
Unless the dog has rabies – which it is not showing signs of – it will not be put down.
Even if the vaccinations are current, the owners will definitely face two charges from Denver Animal Care and Control: a penalty for having the dog bite someone and a second penalty for having the dog off its leash at the time.
“While we normally walk Max on-leash, we understand that by letting him off-leash in an open area away from anyone was still a mistake. We will never walk him off-leash in public areas after this,” the Robinsons said in their statement.
Max was brought into the studio after the station’s news chopper captured video footage of a firefighter rescuing Max from a freezing pond Monday after he fell through the ice and couldn’t make it out.