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Meet the Press Under Fire for ‘Racist’ Segment Featuring Only Black Murderers

NBC’s Meet the Press came under fire Sunday for airing a video of interviews with men convicted of gun crimes which only included black murderers.

In the video produced by a Meet the Press producer, three men serving time in New York’s Sing Sing Correctional Facility for committing murder expressed regret and give a message to their younger selves. All three men interviewed were African-American.

Liberal outlets like Salon and PoliticsUSA declared the segment “racist insanity,” and “racist media stereotyping.” Other outlets attacking NBC included Jezebel, Huffington Post, and ThinkProgress. Most focused on the tone-deafness of focusing only on black murderers days after the racist murder of nine African-Americans at the hands of a white murderer.

The backlash was immediate and harsh enough that it compelled host Chuck Todd to redo the intro to the video when it aired in later markets, adding a disclaimer. “The circumstances you are about to see are very different from the racist violence in Charleston. In this case the inmates are African-American that you’ll hear from. But their lessons remain important. We simply ask you to look at this as a colorblind issue that’s about simply gun violence.”

Compared the earlier intro with the latter one, via NBC.

Todd later posted a message on the Meet the Press website addressing the controversy. “The original decision to air this segment was made before Wednesday’s massacre. However, the staff and I had an internal debate about whether to show it at all this week. When we discussed putting it off, that conversation centered around race and perception – not the conversation we wanted the segment to invoke.”

“We decided against delaying the segment because we wanted to show multiple sides of what gun violence does in this country,” he continued. “We thought the issue of gun violence in our culture and society was an important conversation to continue — too important to put off for another week. The consequences of gun violence should not be hidden.”

Watch the controversial video, via NBC.

[Image via screenshot]
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