Fox News Apologizes For Airing Live Suicide
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith apologized Friday after a car chase airing on the network ending with the suspect shooting himself to death. Live.
The suspect had fled police at nearly 100 m.p.h. before pulling off the road, getting out of the vehicle, running down a dirt path, and shooting himself in the head.
“Get off it. Get off it. Get off it!” Smith exclaimed before Fox cut to a commercial.
When he came back on, Smith issued a personal apology for what happened.
“While we were taking that car chase and showing it to you live, when the guy pulled over and got out, we went on delay. That’s why I didn’t talk for about 10 seconds,” he said.
“We created a five-second delay as if you were to bleep back your DVR five seconds, that was what we did with the picture we were showing you so that we could see in the studio what was happening five seconds before you did, so that if anything went horribly wrong, we’d be able to cut away from it without subjecting you to it and we really messed up. And we’re all very sorry.”
“That didn’t belong on TV. We took every precaution we knew how to take to keep that from being on TV and I personally apologize to you that that happened.”
“Sometimes we see a lot of things that we don’t let get to you because it’s not time-appropriate. It’s insensitive. It’s just wrong. And that was wrong.”
“And that won’t happen again on my watch. And I’m sorry.”
In addition to Smith’s apology, Fox News executive VP Michael Clemente issued his own statement:
“We took every precaution to avoid any such incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five second delay. Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen.”