In the midst of covering the unfolding active shooter situation on the YouTube campus in San Bruno, California on Tuesday, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace interrupted her commentary on Deadline: White House because she thought the sound of someone popping open a soda can somewhere near set was gunshots.
“Steve Schmidt, I always go back to the horror of 9/11 and the complete reliance, you know, we're in our tribes, we're in our corners most of our lives,” Wallace began, as the familiar sound of a crack and pop is heard. “I think we just heard some gunshots. Should we listen to that for a second, control room? Not gunshots? Okay. They'll tell us if there's something we need to dip in and listen to.”
This isn’t the first time an NBC News employee has mistaken the sounds of the obvious for the extraordinary.
Back in June of 2016, NBC reporter Kerry Sanders joined a team of alligator trappers down in Florida and mistook the croak of a bullfrog for one of the nocturnal reptiles. As NewsBusters’ Kyle Drennen wrote at the time:
The melodramatic Sanders set the scene: “It is a precarious business. One wrong step could be deadly....there’s a tremendous amount of tension. Every splash, every movement on the water could be a gator.” Sitting near the water’s edge, Sanders heard a noise and breathlessly asked: “Was that a gator?” Trapper Ben Register replied: “That was a bullfrog.”
Ironically enough, Wallace’s blunder occurred just after she cut way from speaking with MSNBC law enforcement analyst Jim Cavanaugh. He once suggested that the massive explosion heard during the ISIS terrorist attack against the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England in 2017 was a “gas-filled balloon.”
“But the jury is not in yet, just staying with the facts this could be an accidental explosion of equipment, it could be a gas-filled balloon, it could be a loud noise, people reacting; the deaths could be from a stampede,” he suggested.
Deadline: White House
April 4, 2018
4:37:23 PM Eastern
NICOLLE WALLACE: So Google, which owns YouTube, has put out a statement saying, “regarding the YouTube situation, we are coordinating with authorities and we'll provide official information here from Google and YouTube as it becomes available.” Steve Schmidt, I always go back to the horror of 9/11 and the complete reliance, you know, we're in our tribes, [soda can pop] we're in our corners most of our lives. I think we just heard some gun shots. Should we listen to that for a second, control room? Not gunshots? Okay. They'll tell us if there's something we need to dip in and listen to.