Fox News was covering a live car chase from their helicopter on Friday in Phoenix. Eventually, the suspect stops the stolen car, stumbles out, and continues on foot down the arroyo. He frequently trips and appears to be disoriented as though he is heavily under the influence of some sort of illegal drug. Yeah, he is high. Like any live news feed of a police chase, Fox News is eating this up! What happened next, though, no one was prepared for both in the Fox studio as well as the viewers. The anchor, Shepard Smith, was completely off guard.
The suspect suddenly stops, wavers somewhat, then clearly points the gun with his right hand to his right temple… then he crumbles face first to the ground. A look of complete shock appeared on Smith’s face as he realized immediately what just happened and began yelling, “get off it, get off it, get off it…” over and over again to the production staff. But it was too late – the live suicide was aired.
Here is the footage which aired. Please… WARNING! Graphic content. If you are sensitive towards suicidal/shooting scenes, and/or have been thinking about suicide, please… do not watch this.
**SHOCKING** Fox News Airs Live Suicide!!!
Naturally, the phone lines went berserk from people calling in to chastise the News team for showing the suicide. A few people are even going as far as to say that this was intentional by Fox in order to help with their ratings. As much as I do not care for Fox News, this was not an intentional airing. But it was a huge mistake by the production crew – they did not have the footage on a five-second delay, which would have been enough time to stop the video before the suicide occurred. In their defense, the five-second delay is typically used to censor foul language. With this footage coming from a helicopter, I’m sure the staff thought they were safe. After all, filming a live suicide is very rare indeed.
In the aftermath of the incident, Shepard Smith issues an on-air apology:
“We created a five second delay, as if you were to bleep back your DVR for five seconds, that’s what we did with the picture we were showing you, so that we would 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 that that happened.”
Shepard Smith apologizes for airing suicide live on Fox News
For those who are struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is immediately available through the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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