MSNBC is being accused of voter suppression by a disabled Air Force veteran who says the far-left cable channel blocked a handicapped parking spot at a Houston polling site.
The veteran, James Berrie, who suffers from MS, made his complaints public via a Facebook post that went viral late last week.
His story opened with “Different kind of voter suppression” and included a photo of an MSNBC crew that had their people and equipment splayed all over a clearly marked handicapped parking space.
“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,” he wrote.
However, he said that when he came out of the polling place and they were “still there. Not even packing up, still getting ready for their shot.”
The crew only moved after someone who was with him “made a big scene and did not back down. They claimed they had a live shot, so Sarah walked into the shot. They cut the feed and got pissed.”
Other people saw what was going on and “joined in,” including “firefighters.”
“We finally left once their van was loaded. But there were plenty of witnesses and pictures/video taken by others.”
Berrie adds, “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.”
After the story went viral, MSNBC’s Mariana Atencio tweeted out an apology. “We made the wrong call today by using a disabled parking spot for our live shot in TX. There’s no excuse. I apologize,” she wrote.
We made the wrong call today by using a disabled parking spot for our live shot in TX. 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
— Mariana Atencio (@marianaatencio) October 30, 2018
After the story got some attention, in a separate Facebook post, Berrie said he would “love to sit with Mariana Atencio and discuss the issue. Not to bring shame, demand an apology, or anything like that. But to bring awareness[.]”
She has not responded to his offer.