* The headline of this article has been changed to reflect that the veteran was ultimately able to vote.
A disabled Air Force veteran says an MSNBC news crew blocked his way into a polling site in Houston when it parked in a handicapped parking spot.
“Went to vote, and found this waiting for us,” James Berrie, who has multiple sclerosis, wrote on Facebook. “The only van accessible spot and they’re filming in it. We asked them to move, pointed out how it was wrong, then went to vote, because it takes time to load up. But came out and still there. Not even packing up, still getting ready for their shot.”
They claimed they had a live shot, so Sarah walked into the shot. They cut the feed and got pissed. Fortunately other people joined in, plus firefighters who where there for Prop B. We finally left once their van was loaded. But there were plenty of witnesses and pictures/video taken by others.
This is suppression. If I couldn’t park I couldn’t vote. Their van had no handicap placards. And this happens all the time. Handicap spots are not loading zones for gear and equipment. Figure something else out. Especially at a public event where people are going to need the spots. This is not ok, and the station needs to be made aware. All of them.
EDIT: This is a very big election this year. News will be out in force, now and until the general. The media needs to be aware. Call them out if you see this.
Berrie also said in a TV interview with a CBS News affiliate that the MSNBC crew kept telling him they would move shortly.
“’We’ll move in like three minutes. We’re going live. We’ve got a shot. We’re going live in like three minutes. We gotta do this,’ and we’re just like, ‘No. You have to move. It’s not right. You know it’s not right,'” Berrie told the affiliate.
MSNBC reporter Mariana Atencio later apologized on Twitter for the incident.
“We made the wrong call today by using a disabled parking spot for our live shot in TX,” she wrote. “There’s no excuse. I apologize to the two people who were on their way to vote as it’s one of the most important parts of our democracy; we’d never want to jeopardize anyone’s ability to do so.”
Former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, who also worked at MSNBC earlier in her career, blasted the liberal network.
“Really @MSNBC ? Handicapped spot? Not very nice…in fact, indecent,” she wrote.
Berrie later added a note on his Facebook post: “EDIT: Thank you all for your support. This has gotten bigger than I thought, but that is a good thing. People are talking about this, having the conversation. Please keep going. If you see something, say something.”