On Friday, national news viewers were treated to a special kind of insanity as reporters from MSNBC and CNN entered the apartment of the San Bernardino shooters and rifled through their belongings on live television. The obvious concern being that the journalists, while not just showing poor taste, may corrupt evidence that would be helpful in ongoing investigations.
As Talking Points Memo reports:
During the walk through the apartment, which producers said was opened to the media by the couple’s landlord, a NBC News reporter held up photos of unidentified children, a bank document, and a driver’s license on live television.
As MSNBC’s Kerry Sanders walked through the apartment, where police had earlier recovered 12 pipe bombs and more than 1,400 rounds of ammunition, he expressed disbelief that the killed would have toys and stuffed animals for their young child.
The apartment was crowded by camera crews and other journalists all digging through the home. Sanders eventually found a pile of family photos, including what appeared to be a passport of an unidentified woman, which he promptly suggested were the first images of Malik seen by the public.
Anchors expressed discomfort at some of the material being displayed.
“Let’s make sure we don’t see the children, let’s not show the child,” said Andrea Mitchell. “Let’s cut away from that.”
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest noted that he did not have any information to offer in answer to questions; he said he was, “just watching it like the rest of you.”
During a press conference, the F.B.I. addressed the reporters entering the apartment.
According to the New York Times:
F.B.I. officials confirmed that they had searched the home and were finished.
The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said at a news conference in Washington that he had seen the video of the reporters in the townhouse. “I think I’m neither unhappy nor happy,” he said. “When we are done with a location, we return it to their rightful owners and we have to leave an inventory under the law about what was taken. So, people got to see our great criminal justice system in action.”
For more on this, read the article from Talking Points Memo titled: “MSNBC Walks Through San Bernardino Attackers’ Home In Bizarre Live Shot.“