Fox News' Smith Apologizes After Man Commits Suicide On Air | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

Mr. Spock, Mixed-Race Pioneer

As Mr. Spock on Star Trek, the late Leonard Nimoy embodied the conflicts faced by many biracial and other people of color. Even on the diverse crew of the Enterprise, he stood out.
NPR

Italian Cheese Lovers Find Their Bovine Match Through Adopt A Cow

The cheeses of the Italian Alps are prized for their flavor. But the tradition of cheese-making here is dying off. Now remaining farmers are banding together around an unusual adoption program.
NPR

Is The Battle Won And Done For Those Who Fought For Net Neutrality?

In a 3-2 vote on Feb. 26, the FCC approved new rules, regulating broadband internet as a public utility. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Mat Honan, San Francisco bureau chief for BuzzFeed News, about the political implications of the vote.
NPR

A Neuroscientist Weighs In: Why Do We Disagree On The Color Of The Dress?

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist at Wellesley College, about the dress that has the whole Internet asking: What color is it?

Leave a Comment

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