Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Walks Off “Meet the Press” After Gregory Disrespects Her

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Here’s a little something to watch for on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.” That is, if NBC executives/producers decide to leave it in the broadcast.

David Gregory probably thought he was doing a good deed by hosting a panel about the one-year anniversary of the Boston bombings. But the fact that he couldn’t respect one simple request by a survivor of the attacks demonstrates how truly self-absorbed the “Meet” moderator is…and it’s even more reason for NBC to push forward with their reported plans to sack him as host.

You may remember the name Adrianne Haslet-Davis. She’s the hugely talented dancer who lost part of one leg in the Boston attacks–and who is still dancing today. Her one caveat in participating in this “Meet the Press” taping was that she did not want to hear the names of the accused bombers mentioned. Despite NBC’s promises to respect her wishes, Gregory apparently thought too highly of himself to honor the agreement.

Adrianne stormed off the NBC set in tears, mid-way through Friday’s taping. Here’s what she tweeted:

 

 

Here’s what an NBC spokesperson had to say in response:

“Adrianne Haslet-Davis is an inspiring survivor with an important story to share. She was due to take part in a roundtable discussion for Meet the Press with three other participants. She requested that the alleged bombers’ names not be used in the entire program, but given the nature of the discussion we couldn’t make that guarantee. We regret any distress caused by this miscommunication.” 

The NBC spokeswoman added that “her comfort level was far more important than anything, and ultimately she chose to leave before the taping began, before she was even on set.”

Wow. How truly cold and unprofessional. And people wonder why traditional news media is on the outs.

Haslet-Davis has now posted a full statement on her website. Here’s what she had to say about the ordeal:

To whom it may concern,

I need to follow up on what I expressed to the coordinator, the host and the executive producer before I left the studio.

I needn’t apologize for leaving you this morning, as you made your decision. I am not one to ask for people to wait on me hand and foot, for people to bend over backwards and leave their own well being to take care of mine…this is not my character nor is it my intent.

But I did specifically ask of two things for this interview, one being that his name (and you know to whom I refer to) not be mentioned in my presence. Your decision to back out on that promise you made and the horrific way you brought that decision to my attention just minutes prior to taping was not only a cowardice move but a dishonorable one as well. To say that I am hurt is an understatement, for you not only disrespected me, you disrespected the survivors of the bombing and the victims memories by blatantly disregarding this request and putting the value of a terrorist’s name, who put a city in turmoil and caused irrevocable damage physically and emotionally to people of this city, over Boston’s integrity, fortitude, and my personal well being.

My second request you know of, to be referred to as a survivor, not a victim. This one you honored, but I think you forget what a victim truly is defined as. For I will not be a victim, not on anyones level, whether it be from a terrorist, or the press.

Adrianne

Bravo to Haslet-Davis, and shame on NBC. The incident wasn’t the first time the network has pulled a stunt like this, and it likely won’t be the last. It’s so refreshing to hear someone as articulate as Adrianne explain the scenario in such basic but powerful terms. I’m certain it won’t change the way NBC and other mainstream outlets do business, but at least they’ve been forced to come face-to-face with the reality that not everyone thinks the same way they do.

I look forward to seeing what does or doesn’t make the final broadcast on Sunday. How about you?


Matt Fox

Senior Editor

Fox has history in broadcasting that spans two decades. From his early days as an FM host and club DJ in the mid-90′s to his later experiences in political talk radio, he has always had a knack for combining topical news with his love for popular culture. Those experiences culminated in his position as executive producer for several radio shows featured in the TALKERS Heavy 100. Originally from New York, Fox has made the great pilgrimage down to sunny south Florida.

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