MSNBC is being sued for identifying the wrong man in a reality crime story, even though it issued a retraction and unpublished the segment, according to the Huffington Post.
MSNBC’s “Caught on Camera: Dash Cam Diaries” reported on a photo of a 32-year-old man named Keith Todd instead of a Michigan man named Todd Keith. Todd Keith has been “charged with stealing property, resisting arrest and destruction of property” related to the theft of an A One Limousine in Michigan, the Huffington Post reported.
The show describes itself as “Extreme rescue stories, bad behavior, viral videos, other amazing footage and the stories behind them.”
Keith Todd, the misidentified man, is suing for “defamation, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and negligence,” according to the Detroit Free-Press.
The inaccurate segment was aired in November and January, according to the Detroit Free-Press. Keith Todd found out about the error after his uncle saw the program.
MSNBC aired a Feb. 23 retraction that said in part: “The man previously named and shown had no relation to the crime. We regret the error.”
But the retraction wasn’t enough, and Keith Todd’s lawyer Jonathan Browning said, “Nobody bothered to take a close look and confirm it was the right person.”
According to the Detroit Free Press, the police provided the wrong photo and identification to MSNBC after it asked.
“Public humiliation, crying spells, loss of employment income and more are described in the complaint filed in Wayne County Circuit Court,” according to the Detroit Free Press.
Todd is suing NBC Universal, the local police, and A One Limousine.
The Eastpointe police department sent iMediaEthics by e-mail the following statement in which it said it had “no control” over what MSNBC aired. The statement reads in full:
“According to the Complaint, MSNBC mistakenly identified Plaintiff as a man arrested by Eastpointe Police on October 10, 2009. The mistaken identification allegedly occurred during a television broadcast of the show “Caught on Camera: Dash Cam Diaries”, which aired November 15, 2013, and was rebroadcast January 5, 2014.
“The Eastpointe Police Department has no control over MSNBC’s programing, editing, or production process, and cannot confirm or deny the allegations against MSNBC. The Eastpointe Police Department can confirm that the Plaintiff in this lawsuit was not arrested by Eastpointe Police Officers on October 10, 2009.”
iMediaEthics has written to A One Limousine and has left a voicemail for Keith Todd’s lawyer.
Hat Tip: Media Bistro Morning Newsletter