NBC Promotes BBC Reporter Calling Shooting ‘Just Another Day’ in U.S.

At the top of Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer seized on a BBC World News correspondent dismissing the San Bernardino shooting as “just another day” in America: “I don't often start coverage of an event like this by talking about how other people are covering it, but a commentator for the BBC said overnight, ‘Just another day in the United States – another day of guns, chaos, and panic. This time in the city of San Bernardino.’”
    
Later, in the 8 a.m. ET hour, correspondent Harry Smith used that remark as the premise of a full report on mass shootings: “Ours is the only nation in the civilized world where these events happen with this kind of numbing regularity. The BBC reported Wednesday's shooting as – ” A soundbite followed of the actual BBC report: “Just another day in the United States of America.”

The headline on screen throughout the segment read: “‘Just Another Day in the U.S.’; Search for Answers in Wake of Latest Mass Shooting.”

Smith wrapped up the report by declaring:

There is someone wrong with a society where the recipe for murder and mayhem is so easily concocted. If we learn the perpetrators are religious terrorists, then we'll be enraged, we’ll have someone to blame. But what of all the other shootings, the ones that so often fill our newscasts? Where, we wonder, does it end?

Here is a full transcript of the December 3 segment:

7:01 AM ET TEASE:

MATT LAUER: This is supposed to be the most joyous and festive time of the year. You and I were supposed to be part of that tree lighting ceremony last night. And instead, we are waking up this morning and we’re covering another mass shooting in this country.

I don't often start coverage of an event like this by talking about how other people are covering it, but a commentator for the BBC said overnight, “Just another day in the United States – another day of guns, chaos, and panic. This time in the city of San Bernardino.”
                                            
8:14 AM ET SEGMENT:
                            
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: The deadly rampage in San Bernardino is the 355th mass shooting in the U.S. just this year. And NBC’s Harry Smith has been looking and reflecting on that this morning. Harry, good morning to you.

HARRY SMITH: Yeah, good morning guys. There is no justification for murdering people celebrating at a holiday party. No reasoning for gunning down children and their teachers in classrooms, or people crammed into a movie theater on opening night, or worshipers gathered in prayer. This morning, like so many other mornings, we are searching for answers.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: “Just Another Day in the U.S.”; Search for Answers in Wake of Latest Mass Shooting]

On a night like last night, who of us doesn't think about the places we go? The streets we walk down. The malls we shop in. Is the subway safe? What about our schools? Our churches? The worshipers at a prayer meeting at the Emanuel AME Church thought they were safe on a Wednesday night last June. The students at an Oregon community college thought they were safe this past October. As did a reporter and cameraman this past August. A movie theater in Colorado. An elementary school in Connecticut. The events come and they go, and then they come again.

Ours is the only nation in the civilized world where these events happen with this kind of numbing regularity. The BBC reported Wednesday's shooting as –  

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [BBC REPORTER]: Just another day in the United States of America.

SMITH: President Obama after the shooting in Oregon in October.

BARACK OBAMA: Our thoughts and prayers are not enough. And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America.

SMITH: There is someone wrong with a society where the recipe for murder and mayhem is so easily concocted. If we learn the perpetrators are religious terrorists, then we'll be enraged, we’ll have someone to blame. But what of all the other shootings, the ones that so often fill our newscasts? Where, we wonder, does it end?

You know, and it is like we are holding our breaths today, waiting to find out what is the motivation behind this? No matter what it is, it's not gonna be good news.

GUTHRIE: And doesn't explain it or justify it.

SMITH: No, not at all.

GUTHRIE: Or give any solace.

SMITH: No.

GUTHRIE: Harry, thank you so much.

SMITH: You bet.

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