A potentially-awkward moment unfolded at CNN today when anchor Carol Costello, who was covering the Washington Navy Yard shooting, noted that she found it "unusual" that such havoc could be wreaked on a military base and subsequently asked correspondent Brian Todd if he has seen anything like it before.
Why was this particularly curious, you ask? Because it was only four years ago that Fort Hood was attacked in Killeen, Texas. Just last month, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was found guilty of killing 13 people during the 2009 rampage.
In her question and statement, though, Costello didn't mention this attack.
"I used to work in Washington, live in Washington. This seems so unusual to me that a gunman could create this kind of havoc at a U.S. military facility," said Costello. "Have you ever heard of it happening before, Brian?"
In this Aug. 21, 2013 file courtroom sketch, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, right, and his defense attorney, Lt. Col. Kris Poppe, are shown during Hasan's court-martial trial in Fort Hood, Texas. Credit: AP
She then added, "This is so unusual, because this is such a heavily-secured military facility. I've worked in Washington for many years, I've never heard of such a thing happening."
Now, it's important to note, as Newsbusters did in the outlet's coverage, that Costello did mention Washington, D.C., thus she might have been speaking specifically about that location. Considering that it is the nation's capital, the security detail on surrounding bases might be so high as to elicit surprise when such a violent event happens, especially in someone like Costello who is familiar with the region.
But her more general comment about a "U.S. military facility" did lead Newsbusters to go with this headline: "Fort Hood 2009? CNN Anchor Can't Remember the Last Shooting at 'U.S. Military Facility.'" Whether or not she couldn't remember -- well only Costello knows for sure.
At the least, the anchor's wording could have been clearer on the matter.
Watch the exchange, below, and let us know what you think. Was Costello referring to D.C., specifically, or was she speaking about military bases more generally?
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