News

U.S.

‘Why Do I Have to Play By Somebody’s Rules if There’s No Justice?’: MSNBC Anchor Empathizes with Rioters, Looters on Hot Mic

(MSNBC/ Screenshot via Twitter)

An MSNBC anchor covering the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis appeared to sympathize with the lawlessness on display in a conversation with a Black Lives Matter activist captured on a hot mic.

MSNBC’s Ali Velshi provided live coverage to the network throughout the protests on Thursday night, with a concurrent livestream posted to YouTube. During a moment when Velshi was off camera, he can be heard on a hot mic captured in the YouTube stream discussing the night’s events with Ja’Mal Green, a Black Lives Matter activist and former Chicago mayoral candidate, who approached Velshi and introduced himself as someone “helping . . . lead” the protests.

Green and Velshi’s conversation, captured nearly two hours and 14 minutes into the livestream, shows Velshi agreeing with Green’s assessments of the rioting.

“People are angry and their reaction, you can’t be mad at them for it,” Green said, to which Velshi responded “yeah, because what does justice look like?”

“Why do I have to play by somebody’s rules if there’s no justice? . . . I hear you. I never want to see this, but that struck different, man,” Velshi continued. “I’ve been a reporter for 30 years almost, and people used to tell me ‘these stories don’t really happen, people don’t shoot people who aren’t armed, people don’t kill people who aren’t doing anything,’ and then all of a sudden cameras showed up. How many have we seen in one week? That woman in Central Park, Ahmaud Arbery . . .  the question is what changes, what does it change, does this get anywhere or do people just let it burn.”

Green has been active on Twitter since the rioting began, and appeared on NBC’s Chicago affiliate Friday morning to comment on the protests, saying “unfortunately, the only time people want to pay attention is when folks are burning things down.”

Velshi’s conversation took place after rioters had breached the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct and set it ablaze upon a police withdrawal. Speaking to another unidentified bystander, Velshi said into the hot mic that he was “not feeling the menace” of the situation and that it did not “seem like a riot.”

“There’s always a group of people who take advantage of this kind of stuff, but that’s not it . . . that taking of the police station had a symbolic feel to it,” he claimed. “I mean that’s just an American city in 2020 and the police are not in control.”

He also appeared to be unaware that he was being recorded, saying “they keep taking our shots so I never know when I’m on duty and when I’m not.” Earlier in the evening, Velshi said on live television that “it is not, generally speaking, unruly” as he stood in front of a burning storefront.

MSNBC did not return a request for comment on Velshi’s remarks.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Most Popular

U.S.

Bad News about the Virus

On the menu today: an important update about indications that the coronavirus is now more contagious than it used to be, with far-reaching ramifications for how we fight this pandemic; a point on the recent complaints about the Paycheck Protection Program; and a new book for everyone closely following the debate ... Read More
U.S.

Bad News about the Virus

On the menu today: an important update about indications that the coronavirus is now more contagious than it used to be, with far-reaching ramifications for how we fight this pandemic; a point on the recent complaints about the Paycheck Protection Program; and a new book for everyone closely following the debate ... Read More
Culture

Why Progressives Wage War on History

Princeton University’s decision to remove the name “Woodrow Wilson” from its School of Public and International Affairs is a big win for progressive activists, and the implications will extend far beyond the campus. It hardly surprises me, in today’s polarizing environment, that my alma mater caved to ... Read More
Culture

Why Progressives Wage War on History

Princeton University’s decision to remove the name “Woodrow Wilson” from its School of Public and International Affairs is a big win for progressive activists, and the implications will extend far beyond the campus. It hardly surprises me, in today’s polarizing environment, that my alma mater caved to ... Read More

Patriotism Is Becoming ‘White Supremacy’

Never before has a speech extolling America’s virtues and the marvels or the nation’s heroes played to such poor — and completely dishonest — reviews. At Mount Rushmore on Friday night, President Trump gave a speech that was very tough on the woke Left, while largely celebrating America — its ... Read More

Patriotism Is Becoming ‘White Supremacy’

Never before has a speech extolling America’s virtues and the marvels or the nation’s heroes played to such poor — and completely dishonest — reviews. At Mount Rushmore on Friday night, President Trump gave a speech that was very tough on the woke Left, while largely celebrating America — its ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Washington vs. Violent Crime

In New York City, 49 people were shot over the holiday weekend. The death count, so far, is eight. With 101 shooting victims in the last week, shootings are up 300 percent over the same period last year; for the full month of June, they reached a level not seen since 1996. Even before this latest bloodbath, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Washington vs. Violent Crime

In New York City, 49 people were shot over the holiday weekend. The death count, so far, is eight. With 101 shooting victims in the last week, shootings are up 300 percent over the same period last year; for the full month of June, they reached a level not seen since 1996. Even before this latest bloodbath, ... Read More