First let me issue a warning so that people who want to jump into camera shots and act a fool: Journalists are a gang. We roll together. Have you not seen how hard Fox News rides for each other? Our colors are church formal wear. Our gang call is, “Back to you” if you are an on-air journalist and “They got me fucked up” if you’re a writer.
Let me also make this clear: Journalists will jump you. While The Root 100 may appear to be a celebration of folks doing the work, come up in The Root 100 gala acting like you’ve lost your mind and watch how quickly we get you together.
For COVID-iots, fuckheads, anti-vaxxers, drunk baseball fans and others who may believe that you are only harassing the on-air talent, just know that the cameraman is waiting to fuck you up. Some of their equipment can weigh up to 100 pounds and they have to carry that shit around all day; they have basically been waiting on the corner of “Da Fuq?” Street and “Oh, Fam Is Bugging” Avenue all their lives and they are just waiting for a chance to put that heavy-ass camera down.
Which brings us to NBC News correspondent Shaquille Brewster, who taught us all a lesson in restraint when he avoided confrontation after a white Mississippi man in a white pickup appeared to violently confront him during a live report on Hurricane Ida.
While Brewster was trying to do his job, which included informing residents about the Category 4 hurricane that landed in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, a white pickup can be seen coming to an abrupt stop in the background, and a man, who has not been identified but will be called Wallace for the remainder of the story, emerged and began storming up the beach towards Brewster.
Brewster, ever the professional, did something I’m not sure I’ve seen in 2021; he pivoted. Let me tell you the importance of this physical pivot. Not only does it take Wallace out of the frame, it gives Brewster a full-eyed view of Wally and any move he might make. It also helps form the triangle offense of “we ‘bout to fuck Wallace up out here” nonverbal communication between the cameraman and Brewster.
But Brewster is immune to Wallace’s fuckshit and continues with his broadcast, which is live.
From the Daily Beast:
Explaining that the rain had stopped in the area and mail delivery had returned in Gulfport, Brewster reported that the mayor of the town was still enforcing a curfew as they surveyed the damage. At the same time, a pickup truck pulled over in the background of Brewster’s shot, with a large, middle-aged man jumping out of the vehicle and running towards the NBC News crew.
Keeping his composure, Brewster attempted to continue to deliver his report on the hurricane’s aftermath, but the man eventually grew disruptive and began shouting at both the camera crew and the reporter.
Speaking to MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin, Brewster said he was going to need to throw it back to the studio as the man’s behavior was making it impossible to finish his segment. At that point, the guy flew into an incoherent rage and got into Brewster’s face, seemingly yelling at the correspondent to “report it accurately!”
That’s when the feed cut back to Melvin and Melvin knew at that moment what we, journalists, all know: full Voltron was formed and Wallace knew that he fucked up. Sure the cameras don’t show it but they don’t have to as I can guarantee that Brewster is OK.
In fact, this is the last clip of Brewster before he was taken off camera:
While I can’t confirm or deny anything that happened, I will paraphrase Christian philosopher Tobe Nwigwe: “Try Jesus, don’t try Brewster because he throws hands.”
“Hey! Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey,” a concerned Melvin exclaimed. “We’re going to check in with Shaq Brewster just to make sure all is well. There is a lot of crazy out there. There is a lot of crazy!”
Melvin was talking about Brewster.
Later, Melvin confirmed what all journalists already knew: Brewster was just fine.
“You probably saw or heard a few moments ago, one of our correspondents was disrupted by some wacky guy during his live shot there in Mississippi,” Melvin said later in the broadcast. “Pleased to report that Shaquille Brewster is just fine. Shaq is OK.”
Somebody might want to check on Wallace.