Boston bombing: why survivor walked off 'Meet the Press'

Boston bombing survivor Adrianne Haslet-Davis thought she'd reached an agreement with NBC's 'Meet the Press' not to say the names of the suspects. But she left the studio in tears.

By , Staff writer

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    Adrianne Haslet-Davis performs with dancer Christian Lightner at the 2014 TED Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, last month. Ms. Haslet-Davis took to the stage with a new prosthetic limb to perform for the first time since losing part of her left leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
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In the year since two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Adrianne Haslet-Davis has become one of the most recognizable survivors.

The dancer, who had her left leg amputated mid-calf, vowed she would dance again, and did, dancing a rumba at the Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) conference last month with a high-tech prosthetic. She reprised the role last week on CNN's "Survivor Diaries" with Anderson Cooper.

On Sunday, she was to be the face for survivors of the attack again, this time on NBC's "Meet the Press," but she left the studio in tears Friday saying on Twitter that she felt "so disrespected."

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Sunday's episode of "Meet the Press" ran its tribute to Boston without reference to Ms. Haslet-Davis. It included a roundtable discussion of the event with an audience of emergency personnel.

Haslet-Davis was originally supposed to be a part of the roundtable, but in posts to her Twitter feed and in an open letter on her website she said she was misled by the program.

Since the attack, Haslet-Davis has refused to speak the names of the two bombing suspects. She said she agreed to do the show on the condition that the names wouldn't be mentioned. Upon arriving to tape the show, however, she was told that producers couldn't make that guarantee given the nature of the discussion, NBC News spokeswoman Erika Masonhall told the Associated Press.

Haslet-Davis tweeted that she "had to walk off set crying."

She explained herself further in her open letter:

I needn’t apologize for leaving you this morning, as you made your decision. I am not one to ask for people to wait on me hand and foot, for people to bend over backwards and leave their own well being to take care of mine…this is not my character nor is it my intent.

But I did specifically ask ... that his name (and you know to whom I refer to) not be mentioned in my presence. Your decision to back out on that promise you made and the horrific way you brought that decision to my attention just minutes prior to taping was not only a cowardice move but a dishonorable one as well.

Haslet-Davis has received an outpouring of support on social media, and NBC has come in for criticism from some quarters.

But reports suggest that NBC News employees were troubled by the fact that Haslet-Davis felt misled. An NBC source told The Blaze that the “Meet the Press” team was upset at what had happened and thought it had started out with "good intentions."

President Deborah Turness personally called Haslet-Davis after the incident to express her regret, according to the Boston Herald

"Meet the Press" host David Gregory also tweeted an apology:

With the one-year anniversary of the bombing coming Tuesday, the Boston Public Health Commission has counseled survivors to "do what you want to do rather than what you think you should do."

In tips for coping released last month, the BPHC said: "There is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to spend an anniversary or special occasion. Don’t feel like you have to act in a certain way and try not to put the needs of others before your own. Spend the day in a way that will be most helpful to you."

In the end, the "Meet the Press" roundtable discussion did mention the two bombing suspects by name near the end of the segment.

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