Fox & Friends repeatedly aired numerous video stills from a videotape surreptitiously taken of ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews nude in a hotel room, while CBS' The Early Show aired several seconds of the Andrews videotape with some of her body parts blurred.
On July 21, Fox & Friends repeatedly aired numerous video stills from a videotape surreptitiously taken of ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews nude in a hotel room. Fox News' stills, which were prominently displayed on-screen, repeatedly showed Andrews' face while covering some of her body parts with red tape. In addition, during CBS' The Early Show, science and technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg played several seconds of the Andrews videotape with parts of her body blurred.
ESPN's general counsel has reportedly written to at least one website stating that the “posting of these pictures are highly likely to render you an accessory after the fact to a criminal act,” while a lawyer for Andrews has “request[ed] respect of Erin's privacy at this time.”
Reporter Kate Snow reported on the Andrews story for ABC's Good Morning America during the 7 a.m. ET hour, but did not show stills or video from the videotape. ABC and ESPN are both owned by The Walt Disney Co.
While Media Matters for America regularly provides video for segments, Media Matters will not provide video or provide the still shots Fox News aired. The following are screen captures from the Fox & Friends segment and CBS segment with black boxes replacing footage and stills from the video.
From the 6 a.m. ET hour:
From the 8 a.m. ET hour of Fox & Friends:
While airing stills of the videotape, Fox & Friends co-hosts called the videotaping “disgusting” and “outrageous.” Co-host Brian Kilmeade said that “you should not be clicking on” the videotape.
From Sieberg's report on CBS' The Early Show:
CBS also aired the footage during a segment with CBS legal analyst Lisa Bloom and co-host Julie Chen immediately following Sieberg's report. This screen capture is from that segment:
A July 17 statement from the law firm Bingham McCutchen stated of “recent Internet postings of Erin Andrews” :
With respect to recent Internet postings of Erin Andrews, she has authorized her attorney, Marshall B. Grossman of Bingham McCutchen LLP, to issue the following statement:
“While alone in the privacy of her hotel room, Erin Andrews was surreptitiously videotaped without her knowledge or consent. She was the victim of a crime and is taking action to protect herself and help ensure that others are not similarly violated in the future. Although the perpetrator or perpetrators of this criminal act have not yet been identified, when they are identified she intends to bring both civil and criminal charges against them and against anyone who has published the material. We request respect of Erin's privacy at this time, while she and her representatives are working with the authorities.”
MSNBC.com reported that “Andrews' attorney and ESPN were making it clear they found nothing amusing about the videotape's release” and reported ESPN's general counsel's warning to one website:
Meanwhile, both Andrews' attorney and ESPN were making it clear they found nothing amusing about the videotape's release, and will pursue legal action against the person or persons who took the footage.
David Pahl, ESPN's general counsel, said in a written statement to at least one Web site that “These pictures were obviously taken through a peephole or otherwise in a fashion constituting a trespass/assault on the rights of the woman involved.
” Your continued posting of these pictures are highly likely to render you an accessory after the fact to a criminal act. We hereby demand that you (i) immediately remove these pictures from your site and (ii) disclose to us the source of the pictures. We intend to hold you fully responsible for further display of material that so obviously violates the law."
In a July 21 post on his blog, Newsday sports columnist Neil Best criticized the New York Post for also “publishing pictures in print and online of the Erin Andrews 'peephole' video” and wrote that “using the illegally obtained material -- on the front page, no less! -- is way, way over the line of good taste and good judgment.”
Fox Nation published a still image from the video with parts of her body blacked out, which linked to the New York Post article:
From the July 21 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
ALISYN CAMEROTA (guest co-host): And a disgusting peep show at a hotel? A famous TV reporter secretly videotaped walking around inside her own hotel room not wearing any clothes. Then the video was posted online. How do you protect yourself? Isn't this illegal?
CAMEROTA: Thanks, Brian. Well a creepy peeping tom captured ESPN reporter Erin Andrews changing in her hotel room. He filmed her through a peephole in her room's door and then posted that video on the Internet. The video has since been removed from most sites and ESPN is going after anyone that continues to publish it. So what if this happens to you? What are your rights?
STEVE DOOCY (co-host): Privacy lawyer Michael Fertik is the CEO of Reputation Defender. He joins us live right now from San Francisco. Good morning to you, Michael.
FERTIK: Good morning. How are you?
DOOCY: I'm OK. She is furious. And I don't blame her. It was either a peephole or somebody drilled a hole in the wall, apparently at a hotel they think in Omaha now, when she was covering the College World Series. Michael, I understand there are protections state by state, but in some places there are no protections if this happens to you. Explain that.
FERTIK: Yeah, so the federal law in this field is actually pretty new. There is no protection against peeping toms in federal law unless you are sitting on federal land, which is pretty remarkable. About half the states have protection against peeping tom provisions but they tend to be against the person who actually made the video or the photography in a particular case, not against the websites that are hosting the content. In fact, the law of the Internet is very clear. If a website is hosting content put there by somebody else, then the website is, in fact, fully immune from liability associated with the content posted there by that somebody else.
CAMEROTA: But Michael, how can that be, if this is illegally gotten -- ill-gotten gains, as we say, of a peeping tom voyeuristic video -- why wouldn't all the web sites that put it on be liable for something?
FERTIK: Well, so you are right. So a lot of people think that this -- the peeping tom activity is actually a crime. In half the states it's -- it appears not to be. And the way the Internet law has been set up since 1996, it immunizes web sites for content that are -- that's been put there by third parties. So, it's not the law as I would have created it. It made sense in 1996, but it may not make sense anymore now in 2009. The Internet has grown up. It has matured. It is no longer what it was back in 1996 when the only way to go to the web was say, AOL, or if you remember, Prodigy. The Internet is now a very different and much more multifaceted place so videos like this can get --
CAMEROTA: Very quickly, like what do regular people -- what protection do regular people have against this happening to them?
FERTIK: So the good news is that for regular people the videos don't get spread on file servers. So let me say one thing that I think you are wrong about. This video of Erin Andrews is everywhere on the web; it's very easy to find. She is a celebrity so it will be easy to find forever. It will be propagated forever. For most regular people, if you nip it in the bud really fast, it will not spread. It will not get mirrored or propagated.
DOOCY: All right, Michael Fertik, thank you for joining us today from San Francisco.
CAMEROTA: It's outrageous.
DOOCY: He is CEO of Reputation Defender. Now the -- and he was just talking about how it's everywhere on the Internet. Be forewarned because apparently there are a number of hackers who have put on the Internet. If you look up --
DOOCY: Yeah, you think it's her; you open it up. You get a virus. Your computer turns off.
CAMEROTA: So when you go trying to find it this morning --
DOOCY: Don't do it.
KILMEADE: Caught on camera through a peephole in a hotel room. A TV reporter -- a sportscaster -- walking around nude has no idea she's being taped. Wow, what can you do if that happens to you?
CAMEROTA: A creepy peeping tom captured ESPN reporter Erin Andrews walking around nude in her hotel room. He filmed her through the peephole in the door, then posted that video on the Internet. Earlier this morning on Fox & Friends, we talked to a privacy lawyer about your rights if this ever happens to you.
FERTIK [video clip]: A lot of people think that this -- the peeping tom activity is actually a crime. In half the states, it's -- it appears not to be. And the way the Internet law has been set up since 1996, it immunizes websites for content that are -- that's been put there by third parties. So, it's not the law as I would have created it. It made sense in 1996, but it may not make sense anymore.
CAMEROTA: Fertik also says if this were to happen to regular folks, they could probably get the video taken down, but for celebrities like Andrews, it's actually tougher to make the videos go away. He claims that they -- there are just tons and tons of this still out there on the Internet. But you have a caution to people who may want to check it out this morning.
DOOCY: That's right. Some hackers apparently have put online -- if you go to that particular website peephole -- apparently there are some viruses which, if you think, “Oh, this is that shot of the ESPN lady naked?” You click on it, and you get a virus on your computer, and the computer shuts down.
CAMEROTA: Just desserts.
KILMEADE: Good, yeah, you should not be clicking on it anyway.
From the July 21 edition of CBS' The Early Show:
CHEN: Well, it is many women's worst nightmare: having a peeping tom taking pictures of you. It just happened to a very popular sportscaster. Now, that video has gone viral, and she is fighting back. CBS News science and technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg has the details.
SIEBERG: This video purportedly shows 31-year-old Erin Andrews changing clothes in a hotel room. Her attorney says the popular ESPN sideline reporter was secretly videotaped through a peephole, or camera, planted in the room.
SIEBERG: Does this incident surprise you in any way?
CHRIS FALKENBERG (president, Insite Security): Oh, it doesn't surprise me at all. This equipment has been available for many years. Cameras are incredibly small. The technology is highly miniaturized. So it's not that difficult to place a camera in an area where no one would ever imagine it.
SIEBERG: Andrews intends to seek legal action against the person who made the videotape, but that could be difficult.
MIKE FRANCESA (radio host): Who knows when this happened exactly? Do they have any proof exactly where and when this happened?
SIEBERG: While the Andrews video has been pulled in recent days from websites, including YouTube, hackers quickly set up bogus web pages claiming to host the footage. Someone searching for the video clicks on a fake web page, and is told the browser's pop-up blocker is preventing the video from playing. The user is then fooled into downloading malicious software, also known as malware. It's the latest attempt by hackers who use online temptation to try to take over a computer. Daniel Sieberg, CBS News, New York.