Thanks to newly released police body cam footage, we now know that the NBC producer caught tailing the jury bus from the Kyle Rittenhouse trial was acting on orders from higher-ups in New York. A second producer admits in that same video that the network had multiple other employees staked out around the Kenosha courthouse to keep tabs on where the jury were headed.
As NewsBusters previously reported, on November 17 NBC/MSNBC producer James G. Morrison was pulled over by Kenosha police for running a red light while tailing the Rittenhouse jury bus. The stunt prompted presiding Judge Bruce Schroeder to ban MSNBC from the courtroom.
In response to the incident, NBC issued the following statement, which as RedState Media’s Nick Arama points out, appears to have been “very carefully-worded:”
Last night, a freelancer received a traffic citation. While the traffic violation took place near the jury van, the freelancer never contacted or intended to contact the jurors during deliberations, and never photographed or intended to photograph them. We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with the authorities on any investigation.
This lame non-apology wound up aging terribly in light of the newly-released body cam footage, which the Kenosha County Eye obtained via a FOIA request.
Morrison admits in the video that he was instructed by network higher-ups in New York to follow the bus. He then puts the officers in touch with NBC producer Irene Byon, who admits without being prompted that she is aware there are jurors aboard the bus: “By no means were they trying to get in contact with any of the jury members – or whoever was in the car.”
The oversharing continues: “We just had our people positioned in different areas of the courthouse to see if anyone would be able to, um…” Byon trails off there, perhaps realizing she’s just volunteered some very incriminating information.
So thanks to this video, we’ve learned NBC had multiple reporters stationed around the courthouse for the express purpose of following the jury bus as it left the property. Without accusing anyone of anything, let’s ask the obvious question here: what possible reason could a journalist have for chasing after the jury bus, unless they were hoping to learn the jurors’ identities?
Before the video ends, the officer asks that Morrison kindly stop endangering the jury of a nationally-publicized court case: “We’re going to ask you guys to not do that. That’s a concern here. This is huge. We can’t afford anything crazy happening. [You’re] putting people in dangerous positions. This individual violated some traffic laws here doing this, so we’re going to ask you guys to refrain from doing that.”
It’s no wonder MSNBC got banned from the trial. Had NBC actually succeeded in exposing the identity of any of these jurors, those individuals would have been in very real danger.