Anti-vaxxer Karen crashes Toronto news broadcast and harasses reporter live on air
Another run-in has been recorded between anti-vaxxers and someone just trying to do their job, the latest incident occurring live on the air on Wednesday.
CP24's Cristina Tenaglia was out in the field doing a live piece discussing the next stage planned in the vaccine rollout, when a woman clutching a phone appeared immediately next to her, seemingly looking for more than just an innocent selfie.
Tenaglia seemed caught off-guard when the woman, identified as anti-vax activist Jody Ledgerwood, interrupted the broadcast with a blatantly insincere "I'm sorry," before the feed immediately cut to a video of Mayor Tory speaking on the issue of vaccine safety.
Though the live broadcast ended abruptly after the unscripted interruption, a snippet from Ledgerwood's practically unwatchable (filmed in landscape mode but presented in portrait?) protest video reveals what happened next.
The nearly 44-minute-long video shows a group of women attempting to force their way past police into city hall around three minutes in, but you have to wait about 25 minutes to see what happened after CP24's cameras cut out.
Jody Ledgerwood interrupted @cristina_CP24 while she was doing a live segment on television, then proceeded to accuse the reporter of not doing her job.— Caryma Sa'd - Lawyer + Cartoon Creator (@CarymaRules) November 18, 2021
This is alarming. #cdnpoli #antivaxxers pic.twitter.com/o7IQ5z81e1
"I just heard you talking about the safety of vaccines. Vaccines are far from being safe. You need to start doing real journalism here, because, you know what? Children are dying," said Ledgerwood, before moving on to spout off pseudoscientific, unproven theories about vaccines that aren't even worth repeating.
Lawyer and political commentator Caryma Sa'd, who thankfully posted a shortened clip of the encounter, tells blogTO that Ledgerwood was part of "a group of self-proclaimed 'momma bears' that tried getting into a public health building yesterday, and when unsuccessful, tried getting into city hall."
Many people asking why @TorontoPolice didn’t intervene to protect @cristina_CP24 from being accosted on the job by Jody Ledgerwood & her fellow “momma bears.”— Caryma Sa'd - Lawyer + Cartoon Creator (@CarymaRules) November 18, 2021
Problem is, cops can’t/won’t even protect *themselves* from assault by #antivaxxers.
IT’S ALARMING.#cdnpoli #Toronto pic.twitter.com/xzMrVcqfK4
Sa'd says that the group was fighting newly-revealed plans to inoculate children ages 5 to 11, rehashing the familiar talking points that read like rural bumper stickers.
After failing to gain access to multiple public buildings, the unmasked mob encountered the CP24 broadcast team.
"Cristina Tenaglia was reporting live when she got interrupted, then surrounded by a whole group," says S'ad. "She ended up doing a few one-on-one interviews to deescalate the situation. The main person she spoke with was Samantha Denuzzo, who has been active in the [anti-vax] movement."
Bell Media and CP24 did not get back to us at the time of publication with a comment in regards to their employee being harassed, though Tenaglia appears to be taking a brief breather from social media after the drama.
Much ❤️ to everyone. Trying to stay offline for a little bit. Happy to consider all questions/stories/pitches, please send to email@example.com.— Cristina Tenaglia (@cristina_CP24) November 18, 2021
Meanwhile, online reactions have been largely supportive of Tenaglia.
Shame on her . Journalist should not be harassed when they’re doing their jobs— Mary (@MaryRaichinis) November 18, 2021
Commenters on Twitter voiced their disappointment that journalists are facing harassment on the job.
Not acceptable. Let the journalists do their job.— JEArrow (@arrow_je) November 18, 2021
This is nothing new, of course, with journalists having been targeted throughout the pandemic for reporting on the findings of science and not Facebook Karens. Something that one can only expect to continue as science denial grows more prevalent.
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