The desperate horror of those who have had to flee their homes in Houston and the fundamental challenge of trying to cover a natural disaster like Harvey on live television were both on full display this afternoon on CNN.
Just before 1 p.m. central time, reporter Rosa Flores approached a woman named Danielle and her young daughter who had just arrived at a shelter in the Houston area. Asked how they had ended up there, she explained they had been waiting for someone to come rescue them from their home and nobody came.
The family finally decided to leave on their own and made their way to a local gas station where someone picked them up. “We had been there for five days with no food, no lights, and nobody came,” she said.
But it was when Flores asked the woman about how she protected her daughter during the storm that she started to break down. “We got through four feet of water to go get them food on the first day,” she said. “Yeah, that’s a lot of shit. But y’all trying to interview people during their worst times. Like, that’s not the smartest thing to do.”
“People are really breaking down and y’all sitting here with cameras and microphones trying to ask us what the fuck is wrong with us,” Danielle continued. “And you really trying to understand with the microphone still in my face! With me shivering cold, with my kids wet! And you’re still putting a microphone in my face!”
At that point, CNN cut away from the interview, either due to the uncensored profanity or because there was just nothing more for the reporter to say. “It sounds like you've got a very upset family there,” anchor Jim Acosta said back in the studio.
UPDATE: According to CNN's senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, a spokesperson for the network said of the segment, "Our hearts go out to this woman and her family. Our reporter handled the situation graciously."