A clip from MSNBC's Hurricane Ida coverage has gone viral, not for the intensity of the storm itself but for a confrontation between a reporter and a passerby. The network's reporter Shaquille Brewster was cover Hurricane Ida in Mississippi on Monday when a man rushed at him during a live broadcast. The stranger urged Brewster to "report it accurately," and the journalist had a smooth response.
Brewster was on a Mississippi beach explaining the aftermath of the storm and the flooding when a man pulled up in his white pickup truck and accosted him. The stranger hopped out and began shouting at Brewster and his cameraman, apparently projecting his feelings on the cable-news industry in general onto Brewster himself. Brewster moved out of view but that didn't stop his microphone from picking up the background noise of the man's shouting. Finally, Brewster transitioned the feedback to anchor Craig Melvin in the studio with cold professionalism.
"We're gonna check in with Shaq Brewster and make sure all is well," Melvin promised when the camera was back on him. "There's a lot of crazy out there, a lot of crazy. We'll make sure Shaq's okay."
Melvin did check up on Brewster a few minutes later, telling viewers: "You probably saw or heard a few moments ago, one of our correspondents was disrupted by some wacky guy during his live shot there in Mississippi. Pleased to report that Shaquille Brewster is just fine. Shaq is OK."
Brewster later addressed the confrontation on Twitter, writing: "Appreciate the concern guys. The team and I are all good!" Meanwhile, Melvin called the stranger's behavior "beyond unacceptable and disgusting" in a tweet of his own, writing that Brewster "was trying to do his job on a beach in Gulfport, MS. Shaq is ok. This guy who nearly attacked him clearly is not."
Hurricane Ida was a Category 4 storm when it hit the Gulf Coast on Sunday afternoon. It slammed the area around New Orleans, Louisiana, causing flooding of up to 9 feet above ground level according to a report by CNN. The storm brought winds strong enough to rip the roofs off of buildings and even send the Mississippi River temporarily flowing in the opposite direction.
At the time of this writing, Ida has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression as it moves inland. Meteorologists expect it to cut diagonally across the south-eastern U.S. and up to the mid-Atlantic states by the end of the week. For the latest information on the storm visit the National Weather Service's website here.