Oops! MSNBC Mixes Up Congressmen Alcee Hastings and Bennie Thompson

On Tuesday morning, MSNBC viewers were treated to the latest example of a recurring faux pas on the liberal news network as two African American members of Congress were mixed up.

On the Hallie Jackson Reports show, as a full report was run on the passing of Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings, for about 30 seconds, video of Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson was shown on screen before being replaced by an actual image of Congressman Hastings.

At 10:12 a.m. Eastern, Jackson recalled for viewers:

 

 

We mentioned two pieces of breaking news out of the Hill — the other, difficult news for friends and family of Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings from Florida, of course. We’re hearing this morning that we understand that he has passed away at 84 years old. He had been battling stage 3 pancreatic cancer.

As she spoke, an actual image of Congressman appeared on screen for about eight seconds until she introduced correspondent Garrett Haake to fill in more details. As Haake spoke, on screen was displayed video of Congressman Thompson, who is still alive, for about 30 seconds before it was replaced by images of the real Congressman Hastings.

 

On Wednesday morning, at about 10:14 a.m., Jackson made an apology for the mistake:

 

We do want to apologize for a mistake that we made on this show yesterday. When reporting on the death of Congressman Alcee Hastings, we mistakenly showed video of Congressman Bennie Thompson, which should never have happened. We’re sorry it did. Congressman Hastings served the state of Florida for nearly three decades in the House, and deserves a tribute worthy of that service…

It is noteworthy that several MSNBC anchors have made similar goof-ups over the years, including Contessa Brewer in 2009 and Chris Matthews just over a year ago. Here’s video of Brewer: 

 

 

And it hasn’t just been a matter of white news anchors having difficulty distinguishing between black politicians. Last summer, the liberal news network’s only African American evening anchor, Joy Reid, mixed up a couple of white members of Congress — Louie Gohmert of Texas and Ted Yoho of Florida.

 

 

And, also last year, the CBS Evening News confused then-Congressman John Lewis with former Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings.

Tuesday’s episode of Hallie Jackson Reports was sponsored in part by SafeLife. Their contact information is linked.

Transcripts follow. Click “expand” to read more. 

MSNBC

Hallie Jackson Reports

April 6, 2021

10:12 a.m. Eastern

HALLIE JACKSON: We mentioned two pieces of breaking news out of the Hill — the other, difficult news for friends and family of Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings from Florida, of course. We’re hearing this morning that we understand that he has passed away at 84 years old. He had been battling stage 3 pancreatic cancer. I want to bring in NBC’s Garrett Haake on the Hill. Garrett, talk to us about what we know about.

GARRETT HAAKE: Well, Hastings had been battling cancer for quite a while now. We knew he was in failing health. He had been taking advantage of the proxy voting that was available to members during the coronavirus pandemic. He was the dean of Florida’s congressional delegation representing a slice of Broward County, Palm Beach County, the West Palm Beach area, and his death now in political terms puts House Democrats in even a more difficult position than they were before — it lowers essentially the threshold for members who can lose on any given vote down to just three Democrats. So three House Democrats vote against any Democratic priority and Republicans stick together, that does not pass.

Now, Hastings — there will be a special election to replace him down in Florida, but, for now, this news is kind of rippling out through the congressional community. Hastings had a long and interesting life in politics as a civil rights attorney, a federal judge who was impeached. Then, of course, the longest serving member of Florida’s congressional delegation. He’ll be remembered in different ways for all of those different roles serving the people of Florida.

(…)

April 7, 2021

10:14 a.m.

HALLIE JACKSON: We do want to apologize for a mistake that we made on this show yesterday. When reporting on the death of Congressman Alcee Hastings, we mistakenly showed video of Congressman Bennie Thompson, which should never have happened. We’re sorry it did. Congressman Hastings served the state of Florida for nearly three decades in the House, and deserves a tribute worthy of that service.

He was the state’s first black federal judge and a lifelong civil rights activist. President Biden said Congressman Hastings was passionate about helping our nation live up to its full promise for for all Americans, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi called him a champion for the most vulnerable in our nation.

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