A reporter from Houston's KTRK-TV was in the middle of a live segment in front of an H-E-B supermarket early in the morning Thursday when an man interrupted her report and blamed the media for spreading fear about the coronavirus — and it all got caught on the camera operator's video.
"It's your fault that people are freaking out here!" the man said, walking up to and pointing at reporter Miya Shay and the camera operator. "You all are the ones who are at fault! This no worse than the flu!"
A man's voice — presumably the camera operator — replied, "Uh, you're the one here at 6 o'clock in the morning."
"I'm reacting to other people's reactions!" the man shot back.
"OK, bye," Shay said, trying to end the argument — but nothing doing. The man then dropped what Shay later said were "F-bombs" on her. They're bleeped out in the video she posted.
"Y'all are the scum of the earth!" the man said while walking away — before heading back to the TV crew and continuing to dress them down.
"I don't even blame the Chinese; I don't blame them at all. They did everything right," the man said before finally walking toward the store. "It's you all that are hyping things up. Goodbye. Have a good morning."
"Stay classy," the presumed camera operator replied while Shay shook her head and rolled her eyes.
Here's the clip:
"I'm just going to assume this guy dropped a bunch of F bombs on me this morning because his wife sent him for toilet paper too early," Shay wrote with a tweet about the encounter. She added that coronavirus "is serious. We are not hyping it."
What was the reaction?
Shay's tweet has received over 18,000 likes, but it has spread globally since she posted it Thursday. She noted that her cousin in Beijing sent her a clip that "made it on TikTok & then to her WeChat group. Love the Chinese subtitles and dramatic music!" The clip also is on World Star Hip Hop.
While the majority of comments under Shay's tweet defended her and the media, quite a few commenters on World Star Hip Hop sided with the angry shopper:
- "This guy is exactly correct. Hype, exaggeration, half truths, and no truths at all are staples of much of today so-called news media."
- "The person I hate the most was the cameraman...I hate people that feel the need to get the last word to feel they won."
- "100% yes to that man. If I have any frustration it is with the Media blowing this up far bigger than need be. Let the officials do there job and stop feeding the mob mentality."
- "I agree with the guy, and look at that stupid face that reporter gives afterwards...isn't the media about everyone having an opinion, or is it just that liberal media controls the story with its own spin..."
- "You can roll your eyes all you want news lady and cameraman, but you are being controlled by your boss to push a narrative. Whether you understand the narrative or not, you are still being ordered to push it. You're just a small piece of the machine."