MSNBC has long had a reputation for pushing stories in a news-saturated environment, but this week the network was hit by an “oops” news story after the website published a video of a reporter asking Chinese President Xi Jinping a question during a speech.
The video showed the reporter’s hands covering her mouth as she spoke, as the president addressed an audience of about 5,000 people at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
The network immediately suspended its live streaming of Xi’s address.
“We have a very strict process for covering sensitive subjects in China, and it was an oversight,” MSNBC Chief Content Officer Josh Rogin said.
The incident was also widely mocked on social media, with people questioning the appropriateness of an issue that has caused outrage in the country.
MSNBC said it has since removed the video from its website and that it will be contacting those responsible.
On Friday, a network spokesman called the mistake “an unfortunate slip of the tongue” and said it had received a report from a former employee of the network.
“In light of this, we have suspended all live coverage of President Xi’s speech,” the spokesman said.
“Our employees and we will do everything possible to make sure that such mistakes do not happen again.”
A spokesperson for CNN said the network did not receive the report from its former employee.
It is not clear how many of the original video viewers were affected.
The CNN video went viral this week, attracting millions of views on the site and prompting several calls for the network to be removed from its platform.
“You should be ashamed of yourself, you’re an idiot,” one person posted on the social network.
Another wrote: “Why are you broadcasting a Chinese president that is not even a human being?
It’s so dumb and you should be fired.”
The incident came amid a rising number of reports that U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russia interfered in the U.K. and other European elections to help Donald Trump win the presidency.
It also followed reports that Trump had tried to pressure Britain to leave the European Union.