• And it’s wrong to show dead Americans, but it’s OK to endlessly loop video of bleeding and/or dead Gaddafi.

On the morning Gaddafi was killed, an ebullient Wolf Blitzer told Sen. John McCain that he knew the senator was pleased on “this very special day.” The look on Blitzer’s face and the celebratory tone of his network left little doubt that he—or CNN—agreed.

As I said, “basic journalistic ethics” can be a slippery thing.

Correction: We originally reporters that Gilad Shalit had spent two years in captivity. In fact, he had spent five years in captivity. The relevant sentence has been corrected. CJR regrets the error.

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Lawrence Pintak is founding dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University; a former CBS News Middle East correspondent; and creator of the free online Poynter course, Covering Islam in America. His most recent book is The New Arab Journalist: Mission and Identity in a Time of Turmoil.