Around 8 a.m. this morning in Rockefeller Center, a 50-something man attempted to harm himself with a knife, in the middle of a crowd assembled to watch Today. Although NBC’s cameras didn’t film the incident, many spectators did, including Twitter’s answer to Matt Lauer, @SirAnduck, who tweeted, “holy shiz someone just pulled a knife at the today show” and uploaded the following video (warning: slightly NSFW).
How did Today report and then happily pivot away from the story?
The Today anchors then moved to the inside part of their sprawling, inside-outside “set,” in front of a screen used to block the major window that usually provides a backdrop onto the plaza. Lauer came back from commercial with a forthright message to viewers.
“So we’re keeping that area clear for law enforcement out there right now and not getting out there to confuse the situation at all,” Lauer said. But then came the extra-happy misdirection, with “What’s Trending” — usually Natalie Morales’s quick post-headlines segment for cat videos — turning into a four-person affair, with Al Roker opining on baseball games and Lauer offering his detailed thoughts on whether it was okay for Vice President Biden to make Strom Thurmond jokes at Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s funeral. (Via)
A 30-minute interview with a guy who heard from another guy who knows this one person who once spent time around Paris Jackson was scrapped at the last second, for sensitivity reasons.