MSNBC news correspondent Shaquille Brewster was blindsided live on air by an angry man in Gulfport, MS who drove up in a pickup truck and then proceeded to scream at him over “accuracy” while he was covering the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
“The rain has stopped, the wind is still going,” Brewster was reporting during his live segment when the man ran towards him and accosted him.
“I think we even have a random person … going around,” Brewster noted while turning away from the enraged man who was shouting something at Brewster and his crew.
“We deal with some people every once in a while,” he said stoically before continuing with his report. Despite being ignored, the man continued to rage at Brewster off-camera while he forged ahead with his report on the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Ida.
(Video Credit: MSNBC)
“Craig, I’m gonna toss it back to you because we have a person who needs a little help right now,” Brewster told studio host Craig Melvin.
At that point, the network cut away from Brewster but not until before showing the man getting into Brewster’s face and appearing to act violently towards him. The reporter used his forearm to protect himself as the man walked back up to him and incoherently ranted “report accurately!”
As Brewster shoved the man back, his producer and photographer were able to separate the men. The unstable heckler then left, according to NBC’s “Today” show.
“Hey hey hey … ummmm we’re gonna check in with Shaq Brewster just to make sure all is well,” Melvin worriedly reported. “There’s a lot of crazy out there, a lot of crazy. Again, we’ll make sure Shaq’s okay.”
Melvin later wrote, “This is beyond unacceptable and disgusting. @shaqbrewster was trying to do his job on a beach in Gulfport, MS. Shaq is ok. This guy who nearly attacked him clearly is not.”
— Craig Melvin (@craigmelvin) August 30, 2021
Melvin went on to tell viewers, “I do want to note here for a moment, you probably saw or heard a few moments ago a correspondent was disrupted by some wacky guy in his live shot there in Mississippi. Pleased to report that Shaquille Brewster is doing just fine. Shaq is okay.”
Moments later, Craig Melvin informs viewers that Shaquille Brewster is fine after a “wacky guy” disrupted his live shot.
“Shaq, he’s okay.” pic.twitter.com/JdfYfnffdw
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 30, 2021
Following the encounter, Brewster sent a tweet thanking viewers for “the concern” and proclaiming he and his crew were “all good.”
Appreciate the concern guys. The team and I are all good!
— Shaquille Brewster (@shaqbrewster) August 30, 2021
Brewster was praised for maintaining his composure under the threat of bodily harm from the unhinged man. A number of his colleagues at NBC and other journalists lauded him for being a consummate professional during the attack.
NBC News correspondent Ali Vitali remarked the “poise and class we all saw from” Brewster is “just who he is— on and off camera.”
“So, so glad he’s OK,” she commented.
MSNBC President Rashida Jones told The Hill in a statement that Brewster is an “exceptional journalist” who handled the confrontation well.
“Like the consummate professional, he did not let someone intimidate him from doing his job,” Jones remarked. “We’re glad he and the team are safe, and we couldn’t be more proud and supportive of their work.”
Dan Shelley, who is the executive director of the Radio Television Digital News Association, tweeted, “Among the dangers facing journalists today — angry members of the public who either don’t like, or don’t understand, the news media’s role in society. We @RTDNA are grateful @shaqbrewster is OK.”
The Daily Beast’s media reporter Justin Baragona tweeted that the man who accosted Brewster has been identified by police but his name has not been released.
Gulfport police say they’ve identified the man who harassed Shaquille Brewster this morning.
They have not released his name as of yet.https://t.co/JFuGGYuKET
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 31, 2021
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