Fox News inadvertently showed a man commit suicide on live television Friday afternoon, leading host Shepard Smith to apologize to viewers.
The network had been covering its second car chase of the day, following a suspected carjacker as he sped down a California highway. After about an hour, the Dodge Caliber eventually made its way to a dirt road. The suspect got out of the car with a gun, ran several feet, and shot himself in the head. Fox News didn’t cut away in time, leaving Smith to apologize to viewers:
SMITH: Well, some explaining to do. While we were taking that car chase and showing it to you live, when the guy pulled over and got out of the vehicle, we went on delay. That is why I didn’t talk for about ten seconds. We created a five-second delay. As if you were to bleep back your DVR 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 would 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 you that that happened. Sometimes we see a lot of things we don’t let get to you, because it is not time appropriate, it is ininsensitive, it is just wrong. And that was wrong. And that won’t happen again on my watch. And I’m sorry.