A “wacky guy” interrupted an MSNBC live shot Monday, leaving fans to question for several minutes if the reporter was OK. Shaquille Brewster was reporting on the impact of Hurricane Ida on Gulfport, Mississippi when all of this went down live on television.
Anyone watching the live broadcast saw the drama unfold in real-time. Brewster was updating NBC TODAY anchor Craig Melvin on the fallout from Hurricane Ida when a white truck pulls up and parks about 50 yards behind him. The driver leaps out of the cab and storms over to the reporter, screaming for him to “report it accurately.”
Brewster tried to ignore the man. But after several interruptions, he said he would have to cut his report short to handle the heckler. The man then leaps into the frame and screams in Brewster’s face. Producers cut away from the live shot to a visibly shaken Craig Melvin back in the studio.
“Hey! Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey,” Melvin exclaims as the video feed returns to him. “We’re going to check in with Shaq Brewster just to make sure all is well. There is a lot of crazy out there. There is a lot of crazy.”
Thankfully, Melvin updated viewers that Brewster was OK and unharmed.
“You probably saw or heard a few moments ago, one of our correspondents was disrupted by some wacky guy during his live shot there in Mississippi,” Melvin said. “I’m pleased to report that Shaquille Brewster is just fine. Shaq is okay.”
Brewster tweeted afterward that he appreciated all of the concern from viewers. He added that he and his team were “all good.”
Reporters on Working Front Lines of Hurricane Ida
Managing hecklers is just part of the job for television reporters. But they’ve had a host of issues to deal with while reporting on Hurricane Ida.
Strong winds nearly blew over The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore as he reported Sunday from New Orleans. NBC weatherman Al Roker posted a video showing how much floodwater got into his galoshes during a report from Lake Pontchartrain on Monday.
He scolded fans for saying he was too old to be reporting from the front lines of the storm.
“For all those who were worried about me out on #lakepontchartrain a) I volunteered to do this. Part of the job. b) My crew and I were safe and we are back at our hotel and c) for those who think I’m too old to be doing this, try and keep up,” Roker said in the Instagram video.
His wife Deborah Roberts, an ABC journalist, replied she was proud of him for weathering the storm.
“So happy You’re safe,” she wrote. “And sweetie you’re the bomb. And we all know it!”