MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow made a peculiar decision on Monday when dedicating an entire segment to the horrific Waukesha Christmas parade: She made no reference to Darrell E. Brooks Jr., the career criminal who is accused of killing multiple people by plowing through the crowd.
Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said Monday afternoon that he would refer five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, in addition to other charges, against Brooks to the district attorney’s office. Hours later, “The Rachel Maddow Show” covered the tragedy but failed to inform viewers about the suspect or his lengthy criminal history dating back to 1999 that includes numerous violent felonies. She never mentioned Brooks by name, only referring to him as “the suspect” and MSNBC didn’t put his mugshot on screen during the segment, either.
Maddow, who opened her show with the latest on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, took a quick shot at gun owners by noting hate mail she receives from them is often misspelled before eventually moving on to the Christmas parade.
“Today, of course, all eyes have been on Waukesha, Wisconsin, where [Sunday] afternoon a just unthinkable crime took life, after life, after life at a holiday parade … by now you know the basics of what happened. A red SUV inexplicably sped into the parade route and then directly into people marching into the parade and people watching it on the sidewalk,” Maddow said. “As of this hour, five people are dead and an unbelievable 48 people are injured including many, many kids.”
Maddow then played video of Dr. Amy Drendel from Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin explaining aftermath of the devastating mass casualty event.
“Tonight, as vigils are underway in Wisconsin for those killed and injured, as we are expecting an initial court appearance for the suspect in this crime tomorrow afternoon, one of the just horrifying things about this incident is how many people and how many kids were not just hurt by grievously, dangerously, critically hurt,” Maddow said.
Wisconsin state assembly member Sara Rodriguez, a Democrat, then joined Maddow to offer her first-hand account of the events. However, Rodriguez didn’t mention Brooks either.
Brooks has a long rap sheet and a number of pending cases. His most recent court appearance came on Nov. 5 for charges including reckless endangerment, battery, domestic abuse, resisting arrest and bail jumping. He was out on $1,000 bail for those charges at the time of the attack. This was known on Monday, but Maddow failed to inform her viewers.
Maddow eventually wrapped up her segment on the Waukesha parade and pivoted to other stories such as the latest on former President Trump’s taxes.
MSNBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In July 2020, police charged Brooks with three other felonies – including reckless endangerment and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He’s also listed as a Tier 2 registered sex offender in Nevada.
A background check from Wisconsin’s Department of Justice came back with over 50 pages of charges against Brooks stretching back decades. In 1999 he received his first felony conviction for taking part in an aggravated battery – for which he received three years of probation, records show.
Brooks was convicted of obstructing an officer in 2005 and 2003. In 2002 he had another felony marijuana charge.
While Maddow gave Brooks a pass on Monday, she skipped the parade massacre altogether on Tuesday.
Fox News’ Nikolas Lanum and Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.