A CNN interviewer went to a shelter in Houston to get interviews with the survivors of Hurricane Harvey, who have now been left without homes, and are denigrated to sleeping on air mattresses and cots with their families in the same open space as hundreds of other Texans in similarly dire straits.
One woman was particularly fed up with CNN’s attempt to capitalize on the devastating hurricane, and let the reporter know her opinion on the network’s performance live on the air.
In the clip the reporter began by asking the mother, who was in the shelter with her young children, to tell viewers what it was like to abandon her house and belongings and flee with her children.
The mother responded frankly, “it was four feet of water to go and get them food on the first day, yeah that’s a lot of shit.”
Then she laid into the CNN reporter with a vengeance.
“Ya’ll trying to interview people during their worst time, like that’s not the smartest thing to do,” she continued, “people are really breaking down and ya’ll sitting here with cameras and microphones trying to ask what the fuck is wrong with us.”
The CNN reporter began trying to apologize, but let the interview go on for another 20 or so seconds before having the good sense to leave the woman alone.
In her anger, the mother continued, “You’re really trying to understand? With the microphone still in my face? With me shivering cold and my kids wet? And you still put the microphone in my face?”
Finally someone at CNN had the good sense to cut back to the studio feed, and then the network went to break.
Covering Hurricane Harvey is one thing. Mining the fragile emotional state of survivors for higher ratings is something else entirely.