Fox News Accidentally Airs Live Suicide
Fox News accidentally airs Arizona carjacking suspect’s suicide on live television.
‘That was wrong, and that won’t happen again on my watch, and I’m sorry,’ said anchor Shepard Smith in an on-air apology after the a man was seen pointing a gun to his head and pulling the trigger. The man was fleeing police in a high-speed chase after an alleged carjacking.
A red-faced Fox News issued an immediate apology Friday afternoon after the network accidentally aired live footage of an Arizona carjacking suspect committing suicide.
“We really messed up, and we’re all really sorry,” said anchor Shepherd Smith, who was caught cringing on camera after the man pointed a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
“That didn’t belong on TV”
The network was covering a high-speed car chase. The driver of a stolen SUV pulled into a remote road around 3:31 p.m., abandoned the car and began running away.
Smith provided a play-by-play narration as the man stumbled, got up, and then reached down to grab his weapon. As he aimed the gun at his head, gasps were audible in the newsroom and Smith began shouting.
“Get off, get off, get off,” said Smith, his voice rising. “Get off it! Get off it! Get off it.”
Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith repeats the command “get off it” to his staff in the studio as footage of the suicide is broadcast on live television.
Seconds after the suicidal man fell face first to the ground, Fox cut away to a commercial.
Smith was ready with an apology when the station returned to his afternoon show, which has an audience of about 1.9 million viewers.
“I personally apologize to you that it happened,” said Smith, explaining that there was a mixup with the network delay.
“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 … It is insensitive, it is just wrong. And that won’t happen again on my watch.”
Police had been pursuing the carjacking suspect in Salome, a small town in the far western reaches of Arizona.