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MSNBC Butchers Segment, Misidentifies Shooting 'Survivor' Twice

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MSNBC’s Craig Melvin is achieving a bit of tragic, awkward viral infamy after he misidentified gun control advocates from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as shooting “survivors” even though only one of them was directly affected by the Feb. 14 attack that killed 17 people.

“Melvin’s guests, Sofie Whitney and Matt Deitsch, were on to discuss ‘March for Our Lives’ and the horrific shooting in California,” TheBlaze reported.

Whitney was a survivor of the campus bloodshed. Deitsch’s younger brother, Ryan, and sister, Samantha, were also at the school that day, though Matt Dietsch had already graduated and was not present at the time of the shooting. Still, he’s taking up the cause of gun control with his siblings.

However, Melvin couldn’t seem to keep who was a survivor straight. When he introduced Matt Deitsch, he implied he was a direct survivor of the attack, which had Deitsch correcting him.

“Look, I was a graduate of Stoneman Douglas at the time of the shooting, my brother and sister have survived the mass shooting that happened there,” Deitsch said.

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He went on to talk about his experience as a family member instead and the dread of waiting to find out who had lived through the attack. OK, fair enough.

Then Melvin went on to talk about an interview his network had with “Matt” just a few weeks earlier.

“We talked a couple weeks ago, Matt, you were on the program with Jaclyn Corin, I want to play just a bit of our conversation,” Melvin said.

He then played a clip of Ryan Dietsch speaking.

Do you think Craig Melvin should apologize for blowing this interview?

This time, Matt Deitsch was a little more irritated.

“That’s my brother,” Deitsch said. “You call me a ‘survivor,’ you play my brother as if it’s me. Are you guys cool?”

“I apologize for that, that was, that was a mistake, I apologize,” Melvin said, ushering the interview quickly onto the next question.

There was one last issue, however: The chyron at the bottom of the screen still identified Matt Deitsch as a survivor.

That was something Deitsch couldn’t see at the time but probably wasn’t too jazzed about when he checked it out later.

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One is going to guess that Melvin was ill-prepped for this particular interview as opposed to generally careless when it comes to getting stuff right on air. His best-known interview in recent months — one in which he stared down a wolfish Bill Clinton who was supremely angry that Melvin dared to even ask him about Monica Lewinsky – showed a very prepared interviewer, at least from my vantage point.

I suppose we’re all allowed bad days, but it helps if that bad day doesn’t happen when you’re interviewing individuals involved in the Stoneman Douglas shooting right after the Thousand Oaks murders, and you can’t get who’s the survivor right.

This was the time to get things straight, and Melvin, well, didn’t. Nor was he helped out by the people at MSNBC, who couldn’t even get the chyron right. Melvin, along with everyone else, seemed more interested in getting the agenda — gun control — across than getting people’s names’ and life experience right.

In situations like this, that matters.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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