NPR : News

Filed Under:

Fox News' Smith Apologizes After Man Commits Suicide On Air

After inadvertently airing live coverage of a car chase that ended with a man's suicide, Shepard Smith of Fox News has issued an apology to viewers of his show. The incident occurred as the cable network carried a live feed of a man fleeing police on the interstate west of Phoenix.

In the footage, the man abandoned his vehicle and began running across a field, before pulling out a gun and shooting himself in the head. Despite being filmed from a helicopter hovering above the scene, the footage was graphic enough to prompt immediate yelling in the Fox News studio.

The scene led anchor Shepard Smith, who had been speaking over the video and describing the man's actions, to yell "Get off it, get off it" several times to his studio crew. The broadcast abruptly cut to a commercial.

"We really messed up," Smith said when the program resumed shortly after the break. "And we're all very sorry. That didn't belong on TV."

Smith explained that the five-second time-delay that would normally keep such an event from being seen by viewers somehow didn't keep the suicide from being televised Friday.

The event spurred several people to upload video of the chase scenes from Studio B with Shepard Smith to YouTube Friday; others expressed their amazement and/or horror on Twitter.

There had been little indication that events would take such a dramatic turn earlier in the broadcast, as Smith spoke over live footage showing the man, who was suspected in a car-jacking, trying to elude police in a red SUV near Tonopah, Ariz.

After pulling off the highway and onto a dirt road, the man got out of the driver's seat and appeared to take some items from the car. Then he set off running down the road, and eventually onto a grassy area, where he turned a weapon on himself — just after the camera zoomed in on him.

"I personally apologize to you that that happened," Smith said when his program returned. "That was wrong. And that won't happen again on my watch. And I'm sorry."

He then promised to give an update on the story and the video later tonight, before repeating, "I'm sorry."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Book Review: 'Kinder Than Solitude'

Ellah Allfrey reviews Kinder Than Solitude, by Yiyun Li.
NPR

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

Impatient gardeners don't have to wait for summer to harvest salad fixings. A surprising variety of crops will bring homegrown produce to your table in as little as three weeks.
WAMU 88.5

To Replace Rep. Jim Moran, Virginia Democrats Raking In Big Bucks

The race has opened the door to an epic primary season that had 13 Democrats formally announcing their candidacy.
NPR

When Parents Are The Ones Too Distracted By Devices

Parents often complain that smartphones keep their kids distracted from conversation. What happens when it's the other way around, when kids can't get their smartphone-glued parents' attention?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.