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Brian Williams, Don’t Say That About Your Network’s Coverage Of The Nice Attack

MSNBC’s Brian Williams is a master of saying the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time. I mean, in general, that point is evident since he lost the anchor’s desk at Nightly News and was suspended for six months for lying about his journalistic exploits. Now, we have him saying that he’s “plowing over” his network’s original programming to bring you the latest on the Nice attack (via Curtis Houck/ Newsbusters) [emphasis mine]:


BRIAN WILLIAMS: This is Donald Trump on a phone interview from the last hour: “But I haven't made my final, final decision. I mean, I've got three people that are fantastic.” So the beat goes on there in politics. We have just plowed over the normal hour airtime of Chris Matthews tonight because of this confluence of breaking news and I wanted to go to Chris while we still can and, Chris, hear from you about just what we've been witnessing here.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, this is the world we live in now and for whatever reason, France has become the epicenter of all this terrorism now for months. If you include Belgium, so much of it’s been in the very important continent of Europe and it's all about that. A lot of Arab people live in that — those countries, especially in France and you see it when you visit there. Some are assimilated, some are not. There's a lot of anger against these immigrants, and anger from the immigrants. It's a cauldron and to see a beautiful city like Nice or along the Cote D'Azur like that be disturbed at a time of celebration

This isn’t the first time. During the coverage of the Orlando shooting last month, Williams was cracking jokes while interviewing former Florida Republican Sen. Mel Martinez, who is known to toe a more moderate line. During that exchange, Williams said “Senator, I'm listening to your politics and wondering what branch of the Republican Party you’re in these days and can you find it with a flashlight?”


“My goodness, Brian, I was hoping we weren't going to talk about that tonight. That's a difficult one for me,” replied Martinez.

Williams later apologized:

As we said and with apologies with the look at the inevitable politics of even a national tragedy given that we are in a political season, but the words right below us there, “deadliest mass shooting in American history.” That is the conversation tonight. That's the story we're covering tonight. The tragedy we all woke up to this morning. Our coverage will continue after a break.

Now, we have his “plowed over” remark, which looks even worse when you factor in that Williams had mentioned it in reports prior to this little segment with Chris Matthews. Hence, why he began trending on Twitter, as many were floored by the lack of self-awareness with that statement. So, maybe this was a slip of the tongue. It happens. Let’s not forget this gem from CNN’s then-national correspondent Susan Candiotti during the middle of the manhunt to find Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in 2013.


Still, it doesn’t mitigate the fact that it was in bad taste.

BONUS: MSNBC called the Nice attack a "truck crash" last night.

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