NBC Weirdly Omits Mention of Suspect Arrested In Hockey Slashing Death

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In a bizarre throwaway report, the kind that is used as a timestuffer towards the end of a newscast, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt goes through the trouble of mentioning the arrest of a suspect in the gruesome death of an American hockey player, but has a most difficult time identifying the suspect.

Watch the report in its entirety, as aired on NBC Nightly News on Tuesday, November 14th, 2023:

LESTER HOLT: In England, an arrest in the death of an American hockey player who died after the blade of an opposing player’s skate cut his neck. Adam Johnson, who once played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, was on a British team when the incident happened. Police did not identify the suspect but said he was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

The report is opaque, and goes to great lengths to bifurcate the fatal slashing of Johnson from the manslaughter arrest. Was the arrestee, mayhaps, someone other than the opposing player who kung fu-kicked Johnson in the neck? Let’s see if NBC’s online report can help solve this mystery.

A man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter Tuesday in connection with the death of professional ice hockey player Adam Johnson, whose neck was cut by a skate blade midgame.

A man. What man? Was an investigation conducted?

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“Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive enquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances,” said South Yorkshire Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall.

The investigation is ongoing and the suspect, who was not identified, remains in custody, police said.

The events were a kung-fu kick across the throat. South Yorkshire clearly identified a suspect before making an arrest, so it isn’t so much a lack of identification as a refusal to publish. 

Even if the suspect wasn’t identified by South Yorkshire, the whole world knows that Matt Petgrave is the one who slashed Adam Johnson. Surely, Holt could’ve spared a second or two to provide that context. Reports like these, with critical information missing, do little if anything to inform the public.

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