Adrianne Haslet-Davis is a professional ballroom dancer, former dance instructor and public speaker.
She’s also a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing, an incident that left her without a left foot.
Adrianne, 33, has been in the news this week because on Friday, she left a Boston television studio in tears before a taping of NBC’s Meet the Press, on which she was scheduled to join a roundtable discussion to mark the one-year anniversary of the horrific event on 15 April.
Her tears were provoked, she said, by a broken promise by the network: she had asked that the names of the accused bombers not come up during the show’s taping, and the producers of the Sunday morning show had reportedly agreed before revoking that promise shortly before filming.
After leaving the studio, she tweeted to her followers: “Cannot believe (Meet the Press) chose to use the bomber’s name instead of respect their guest. Had to walk off set crying.”
“I feel so disrespected. I asked politely yesterday and you said yes. Now you choose to use the name instead.”
NBC News released a statement on Friday evening saying it regretted “any distress caused by this miscommunication”. Meet the Press host David Gregory also tweeted late Friday that “her comfort level is far more imp(ortant) than any show”, and NBC News spokeswoman Erika Masonhall has said NBC News president had left a voicemail for Adrianne apologising for any confusion.
But although these apologies were promptly and publicly offered, what was missing was a comprehensive explanation of why.
Why, exactly, was the decision ultimately made not to honour Adrianne’s wish? Why was it seemingly more important for this popular show to name the perpetrators of an evil act than to respect the wishes of a woman harmed by their terrorism?
And in a wider sense, why is the media so preoccupied with the stories of criminals when there are incredible survivor stories that have yet to be told?