Video: NBC News Team Surprised to Learn That North Dakota Indians Shop at Grocery Stores

NBC News reporter Cal Perry broadcasts life from Standing Rock Screenshot via YouTube

In the annals of clueless, slanted, utterly out-of-touch national media reporting from the #NoDAPL protests in south central North Dakota this recorded NBC News report takes the cake.

The video below was taken by one of the self-styled “water protectors” of NBC/MSNBC reporter Cal Perry recording a report on site. I’m assuming it was for the Lawrence O’Donnell program given that Perry refers to “Lawrence” at one point.

I can’t, as of this writing, find where the footage has aired. Per Perry’s Twitter account it sounds as though it may air some time today? Though O’Donnell’s show airs weeknights.

Anyway, in his recorded report Perry starts talking about how in the spring the Native Americans will begin to hunt for buffalo along the river. He says they traditionally float the buffalo down the river, something the protesters are afraid won’t be possible if the river is full of oil.

Only, that’s just not reality. Most of the buffalo near the protest sites are privately owned (by ranchers who have been consistently harassed by the protesters). What hunting of buffalo does happen is rare.

“Our tribe highly regulates our buffalo herd and hunts,” ND Indian Affairs Commissioner Scott Davis, who is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, told me. “As a tribal member you’d be lucky if you got a tag or opportunity to harvest a buffalo. They only time we harvest buffalo is during our pow wows or ceremonies. Special occasions only.”

“Our tribe highly regulates our buffalo herd and hunts,” ND Indian Affairs Commissioner Scott Davis, who is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, told me. “As a tribal member you’d be lucky if you got a tag or opportunity to harvest a buffalo. They only time we harvest buffalo is during our pow wows or ceremonies. Special occasions only.”

I asked Davis about floating the buffalo down the river. “I’ve never heard of that,” he told me.

The man recording the segment corrects Perry and his producers after they’re done filming. These stalwarts of journalism are actually surprised that modern Native Americans don’t subsist on buffalo hunting any more and go to grocery stores like ordinary Americans.

“You still get your groceries from a grocery store?” a bewildered voice from the news team asks.

The “water protector” answers in the affirmative.

“It is what it is, bro, I’m just being real,” the man recording tells the news team after blowing their minds with the news that Native Americans aren’t living off of buffalo hunts any more.

The report is “not gonna be good for the locals but for the mainstream it’ll be alright,” he tells them.

Whatever fits the narrative, I guess.

Maybe the news team killed this segment after learning that their romantic notions of modern buffalo hunts just aren’t accurate. Or maybe they just haven’t used it yet.

Either way, it’s shocking that a team of professional journalists would be so gullible.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com and a columnist for the Forum News Service.

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