An NBC/MSNBC producer James G. Morrison, a member of the NBC/MSNBC production team, attempted to track the jurors in Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial at home, harass them or dox them Wednesday evening. He drove past a stoplight as he chased the jury bus out of the courthouse. This incident led Judge Bruce Schroeder to ban both NBC and MSNBC from the courthouse building for the remainder of the trial.
“Last evening, a person who identified himself as James J. Morrison, and who claimed that he was a producing with NBC News and played for MSNBC, and under the supervision of a person … named Irene Byon in New York for MSNBC,” Judge Schroeder recounted from the bench Thursday afternoon.
Police claim that Morrison gave this information to them after being caught. “The police, when they stopped him because he was following at about a distance of a block, went through a red light, pulled him over and inquired of him what was going on, and he gave that information and stated that he had been instructed by Ms. Byon in New York to follow the jury bus,” Schroeder explained.
The Judge then said it was an “extremely serious matter” and that he would be banning MSNBC from the premises and would be “referred to the proper authorities for further action”:
This matter remains under investigation. It has been raised with the media. This is the most recent I know. He was also ticketed for violating traffic control signals. From what I hear, he’s not there today. Therefore, I have ordered that MSNBC’s news personnel will not be allowed to enter this building throughout the trial. This is a very serious matter and I don’t know what the ultimate truth is, but absolutely it would go without much thinking that someone who’s following the jury bus, that is a very – that’s extremely serious matter and it will be referred to the proper authorities for further action.
NBC responded to this incident by essentially acknowledging that it had occurred, but trying to alter the facts in order to downplay their actions.
A traffic violation was issued to a freelancer last night. The traffic violation was committed near the jury van. However, the freelancer didn’t contact, or even intend to, jurors at deliberations. They were also not photographed. We are deeply sorry about the incident, and will be fully cooperating with police in any investigations.
Notice that after their initial admission that Morrison (who they didn’t name) was ticketed, they suggested he was merely “near the jury van” and that he “never contacted or intended to contact the jurors during deliberations.”
“[Judge Schroeder] responded to a report that we got from the Kenosha Police Department last night saying that a member of the media was suspected of following the jury van after court yesterday,” reported correspondent Shaquille Brewster on MSNBC’s MTP DailyThe hour ends at 1:05 p.m.
Adding: “The judge named a member from MSNBC, he said he’s taking this extremely seriously. The judge continued to state that he’s investigating further. And we also know that he’s banning members from MSNBC, any MSNBC personnel from the courthouse at this time.”
The incident occurred the evening before. NBC Nightly News edited out Schroeder’s scathing rebuke of the media’s “grossly irresponsible handling of what comes out of this trial.” It was also reminiscent of when MSNBC ambushedRobert Mueller (then-Special Counsel) outside his church, Easter Sunday.
You can click on “expand to view the transcripts” below.
Fox News Channel’s Outnumbered
November 18, 2021
JUDGE Bruce SCHROEDER: Last evening – and let me just set the background here. The jury in this case is being transported from a different location in a bus with windows covered so that they don’t have to look at – aren’t exposed to any signs by one side or the other, or interest in the case. This is why I call it a sealed vehicle. That’s done daily, then the bus is brought to this place.
Last evening, a person who identified himself as James J. Morrison, and who claimed that he was a producing with NBC News and played for MSNBC, and under the supervision of a person – what’s going on?
Oh, okay. Irene Byon, New York’s MSNBC correspondent. When he stopped following the bus at a distance of about one block, police pulled him over, ran through a red light and asked him questions. He stated that Ms. Byon had instructed him to follow the jury bus in New York.
This matter remains under investigation. It has been raised with the media. This is the most recent I know. He was also ticketed for violating traffic control signals. According to what I understand, he is not present today. I instructed MSNBC News that nobody from the network will be allowed in the building during this trial. This is a very serious matter and I don’t know what the ultimate truth is, but absolutely it would go without much thinking that someone who’s following the jury bus, that is a very – that’s extremely serious matter and it will be referred to the proper authorities for further action.
We are grateful.
MSNBC’s MTP Daily
November 18, 2021
Eastern at 1:58 p.m.
SHAQUILLE BREWSTER – We saw the judge come earlier to the bench or take the stand for an unrelated issue. The judge was not present at the scene. According to the Kenosha Police Department, a person was reported as having followed the jury van yesterday after the court.
He named MSNBC’s member as the judge and said that he takes this very seriously. He said that he’s continuing to investigate the issue. He also confirmed that MSNBC members and MSNBC personnel were barred from the courthouse.
A spokesperson for NBC has now released a statement. Let’s see it on the screen. It says, “Last night, a freelancer received a traffic citation. Although the violation occurred near the jury van’s vehicle, it was not a traffic offense. The freelancer did not contact or intend to contact jurors in deliberations and never took photographs of them. We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with authorities on any investigation.”