MSNBC apologized after airing a live broadcast where its crew ambled through Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik’s apartment and aired documents without blurring personal details.
“We regret that we briefly showed images of photographs and identification cards that should not have been aired without review,” the network said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
Earlier today reporters from a number of outlets gained access to the apartment shared by Farook and Malik, who died during a shootout with police following Wednesday’s massacre that killed 14 people and injured 17, many of them critically, during a holiday party at a public building in San Bernardino.
The live broadcast, where reporters rifled through personal belongings as mundane as books and toys, also briefly featured images of documents such as an unaltered drivers license. The episode struck many viewers as deeply weird and some found it unethical.
The Atlantic seemed to speak for many viewers with its piece, “What the Hell Just Happened on MSNBC and CNN?” Observed Gawker: “Cable News Is Going Nuts Rummaging Around Inside the San Bernardino Shooters’ Apartment.”
CNN’s own legal analyst, Paul Callan seemed dumbfounded, saying:
I can tell you, never have I seen something like this. And of course, if it turns out there are other people involved in this crime, this is the absolute destruction of any case that they would have against them, but I am more concerned about leads that might be hidden in that debris, that will now be destroyed as a result of the contamination. It is a really shocking abandon abandonment of responsibility by the law enforcement authorities here.
Predictably, MSNBC started trending on Twitter: