Watch: Angry business owner crashes live news segment, rails against COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan
An angry business owner interrupted a live local news segment in Michigan to rail against the federal government sending stimulus money to special interests and campaign donors as well as the state’s COVID-19 restrictions, in a video clip that has gone viral on Twitter.
Clocking in 1.6 million views at the time of publication, the 80-second video shows the infuriated man interrupting local reporter Tarvarious Haywood of the Kalamazoo, Michigan-based WWMT station (CBS News 3) from behind just as he was starting a live segment, which then prompted Haywood to switch gears and interview him about his frustration.
Haywood shared the clip to Twitter on Wednesday night, writing, “An angry business owner interrupted me moments before my live hit. He wanted to express his anger about Michigan’s current covid-19 restrictions. So, ok kool you can express your anger, just know I’m asking hard questions in return.”
“Journalism 101 always be ready!” he added.
“My government leaders have abandoned me,” are the first words from the man in the clip that are audible.
Haywood then tried asking him if he was the owner of something before being cut off by the approaching man, who then said, “Four trillion dollars of stimulus money, and gave it to who? Special interests groups and campaign donors.”
He then clarified who he was, pointing to the building behind him, “I’m Dave Morse, I own the place.” Later in the video, it is specified that he owns a restaurant.
“So, what’s going on?” Haywood then asked.
“What’s going on? You know what’s going on!” Morse snapped back.
“Tell me! You tell me,” Haywood said.
“Hey, we got a government that has taken the stimulus money, they gave it to special campaign donors, they gave it to special interests, they abandoned me, and they have put me in a position where I have to fight back,” Morse said.
“Do you feel that this is the right thing to do?” Haywood asked him.
“Absolutely. I feel everybody needs to stand up,” Morse replied. “Hey listen, there was enough money to give every family—every family in this country—$20,000 to go home for two months. They chose to give it to special interests and campaign donors, the Kennedy Space Center, and they abandoned us.”
“You could’ve given me money, and I’d gladly walk away for 60 days and let this virus settle down. I’m not gonna do it alone,” Morse added.
“Are you going to continue to violate the state’s orders and stay open?” Haywood asked.
As the interview neared its end, Morse’s frustration intensified.
“This isn’t an order, this is a conspiracy, this is a tyranny,” Morse said.
“What do you want to tell other restaurant owners who—” Haywood was asking, when Morse cut him off and angrily shot both his arms up into the air.
“Wake up! Stand up! This is America, be free,” he yelled. “I got patriots coming out and supporting me.” The clip ends immediately after this.
Amid coronavirus cases skyrocketing across the country and the holiday traveling season, governors and local authorities have strengthened their virus restrictions on businesses, schools, and various kinds of gatherings to combat the spread. This comes after many areas of the country began to loosen their restrictions throughout the summer.
As for when there might be more COVID-19 economic stimulus from the federal government, experts are saying that a new stimulus package will most likely not be agreed upon until January at least, when the newly elected Congress officially starts working and when President-elect Joe Biden takes office. Anger towards congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle has grown in recent months as negotiations continue to fail.
Reactions to the clip were overwhelmingly positive, with many on Twitter praising Haywood for deciding to talk it out with Morse and letting him tell his story. Most even agreeing with some or all of what he was saying, understanding his tough economic situation is something similarly experienced by millions of Americans during the pandemic.
“I’m glad you interviewed him and didn’t ignore him,” Alex Leo wrote, who is the former Vice President of The Daily Beast and the former head of products at Reuters. “He’s right and it was a great segment”.
Sage Steele from ESPN’s SportsCenter wrote, “Really good job on this. Not easy to adjust like that on live tv. You asked good questions, and most importantly, you allowed this man to talk and share his story, his side.”
Even if they didn’t agree entirely with Morse, most users sympathized with him and his situation.
Alex Medina, who among other things is the principle designer at Vox Media, retweeted the video, was one of those users.
“The last 10 seconds go south but his assessment of this government’s COVID response and lack of financial aid for the American people is spot on,” he wrote.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.