Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith issued an on-air apology Friday after the network, which had been following a car chase, saw that chase end in the driver shooting himself on live television.
Smith said Fox news went to a delay once the car pulled off the road, but that producers weren’t able to jump to commercial quick enough to prevent the shooting from airing live.
“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," said Smith. "So that’s 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’d 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 that we don’t let get to you because it’s not time appropriate, it’s insensitive, it’s just wrong. And that was wrong and that won’t happen again on my watch and I’m sorry. We’ll update you on what happened with that guy and how that went down tonight on the Fox Report. I’m sorry.”
Michael Clemente, executive vice president of news editorial added: “We took every precaution to avoid any such live incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five second delay. Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen.”