While reporting on the massacre at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts broke down as a prayer vigil took place at the historic black church where where 9 people were killed Wednesday night.
However, it turns out the vigil was organized by former FOX News commentator Glenn Beck.
Jonathan M. Seidl, who posted the video of Roberts on air, reported on the emotional play-by-play for The Blaze:
As the bond was being set for accused killer Dylann Roof, Roberts described the scene of a mass of people showing up and singing. Unbeknownst to him, it seems, that crowd was at least in part the work of Glenn Beck, who flew down to pray in Charleston and invited people to meet him nearby. Beck can even be seen walking in the background of Roberts’ TV shot at one point. […]
“Can we look over here right now. It’s kind of heartbreaking,” Roberts said, his voice cracking. “They’re singing and a whole flood of people showed up at the same time.”
“So you’re hearing from the family, and then this whole group of people showed up. And they’re singing a gospel song. … I apologize,” he said, stopping himself and trying to fight back tears. He’s referring to several family members forgiving Roof during his bond hearing.
“But you can see the outpouring of support for his community. It goes all the way down the street of people who showed up at the exact same time that this arraignment was going on,” he continued, amazed.
“I’m sorry,” he concluded, before a guest stepped in.
In a screen grab taken by Seidl, you can see Beck in the crowd.
Roberts later tweeted that he was unaware of Beck’s involvement. His emotion shown on television appears to have been caused by the outpouring of support for the shooting’s victims and their families.
Seidl tweeted back that Beck’s involvement proved the power of the tragedy to affect people across all divides.
Beck’s former network FOX News has come under criticism for failing to address the racism inherent in the attack on the Charleston church, saying the massacre was an “attack on faith.”
Watch the emotional video of Roberts’ on-air breakdown below: