Kellyanne Conway criticised CNN on Tuesday for interviewing a distressed woman at a shelter during Hurricane Harvey.
Though Conway praised Fox News’ interviews with hurricane victims, she chided CNN for the interview, in which reporter Rosa Flores spoke to a woman who said she struggled for days to find food and shelter, and began admonishing Flores for interviewing her in the first place.
Flores quickly apologised and concluded the interview as soon as the woman made it clear she did not want to speak to the media.
As the interview circulated online, CNN’s Brian Stelter pointed out that the woman initially agreed to be interviewed before she went on air.
The interview highlighted the ethical grey areas many reporters find themselves in when covering disasters, attempting to balance the need to inform the public with the need to respect those who do not wish to be interviewed.
CNN’s Ed Lavandera, who went viral on Monday while helping an elderly Texas couple escape their flooded-out home during a live shot, noted that at one point he asked to cut the broadcast feed in order to respect the couple’s privacy.
“People who are being rescued from their homes don’t usually expect a full camera crew, much less a national camera crew,” Lavandera told Business Insider in a telephone interview on Monday.
“It’s a question of dignity. I had no idea what was going to emerge from that house. And as I’m running through on live television all the scenarios that could come out of it, I just tried to slow the situation down.”
Flores and CNN weren’t the first reporters to be criticised for their coverage of Hurricane Harvey.
ABC News reporter Tom Llamas ignited controversy on Tuesday after tweeting that he had informed authorities of what he described as the “looting” of a grocery store during Hurricane Harvey, which many critics argued was insensitive to those individuals stranded by the hurricane who had not eaten and could not find food.
Watch this clip to end.Shames @CNN to get the mike out of her face, notes her kids are shivering & in need of things other than an interview https://t.co/jGbvfJGecx
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) August 29, 2017
A very human moment on live TV. Not political. @RosaFlores‘ team spoke with the woman off-camera, asked her to come on air, and she agreed. https://t.co/Umr0pi7u8O
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 29, 2017
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