An angry white man nearly assaults Black MSNBC reporter Shaquille Brewster as he reports on Hurricane Ida
MSNBC correspondent Shaquille Brewster was reporting on Hurricane Ida in Gulfport, Mississippi on Monday, August 30, 2021, when an angry white guy pulled his car over and ran into the frame to accost Brewster and shout off some nonsense about reporting the news “accurately.”
Brewster, who is Black, was forced into a position to calmly react as this aggressive white man continued to verbally assault him and interrupt the feed.
The man is seen parking his car in the distance and then running towards the camera as he shouts some nonsense about the media and that Brewster needs to “report it accurately.” Brewster immediately steps out of frame and away from the man and continues reporting when the man returns and gets right up in the newscaster’s face, screaming about the media and walking an extremely fine line between “accosting” and straight-up assault. Brewster remained professional, tossing the clip back to the studio and telling the audience it’s “because we have a person who needs a little help right now.”
The news clip cuts back to MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin, who saw the incident play out and appears visibly worried.
“Hey! Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey. Um, we’re going to check in with Shaq Brewster just to make sure all is well,” Melvin said. “There’s a lot of crazy out there.” Melvin later called the guy, “whacky,” which is quite the understatement and it’s unfortunate that euphemisms had to be used to describe this actually violent white man, though it’s understandable seeing as neither Melvin nor Brewster could risk being seen as angry as the man who attacked the news feed because we live in a racist world where white men are given the benefit of the doubt and Black men are not.
However, Melvin later tweeted about the incident and called the angry white man what he is, which is “unacceptable and disgusting.”
Though no more information about the altercation has come to light, nor an explanation for why the man accosted Brewster or why he was yelling, “report this accurately,” but one can read between the lines. We had a president calling legitimate news “fake” for four years, sowing seeds of distrust and resentment in his base who refuse to believe anything they see on the news. The anti-media resentment is bound to become violent at a certain point.
As CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter tweeted, “this fool was shouting anti-media epithets and telling @shaqbrewster to “report accurately,” which is what Shaq was doing.” And as Politico writer Carla Marinucci added, “Reporters doing the hard work of reporting live from a hurricane to give the pubic needed information are getting this? Insane.”
Brewster took to Twitter later to update everyone on his status, writing, “Appreciate the concern guys. The team and I are all good!” Happy to hear, but sad that Brewster had to deal with it in the first place.