Cable news networks on Friday officially jumped the shark on offensiveness: they broadcasted live from inside the apartment of the San Bernardino terrorists.
Both MSNBC and CNN reportedly paid off the landlord to gain access to the apartment of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the couple behind the terrorist attacks than left 12 dead at an office holiday party.
Journalists led viewers around a tour of the small apartment—including the room of Farook and Malik’s 6-month-old baby.
They also rooted through the couple’s personal belongings—holding up Malik’s prayer beads, family photos of children, and the couple’s driver’s licenses and social security card.
The FBI warrant that closed the apartment off as a crime scene reportedly had expired, and while agents were out getting the warrant extended, the landlord seemed to have decided to pop in with some of his new reporter friends. Because of the intrusion, any evidence still in the apartment would no longer be legally admissible if it revealed co-conspirators or access to a greater terrorist network.
Even news anchors—who were watching their colleagues go through a terrorist couple’s personal belongings for the sake of ratings—seemed appalled by what was going on.
At one point, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell asked her field reporter to stop holding up personal photos of innocent children, who obviously played no role in the attack.
On CNN, CNN’s law enforcement expert Harry Hock expressed surprise that reporters would go inside, but put the blame of law enforcement for not securing the scene while they waited for another warrant:
“Usually in an instance like this, if a crime scene goes in and does the work and comes out, you will keep that scene locked up, and with the sign on board saying that you cannot come in until the police release it. The fact is, maybe they did not do that here. I am I will tell you, I’m so shocked I cannot believe it. This is detective 101 for crying out loud.”
“And now we have what looks like dozens of people in there totally destroying a crime scene, which is still vital in this investigation,” he added.
Join in the discussion below.