Joe Johns maintained his composure on-air just moments after scaring a raccoon away. On Wednesday, Johns, a senior White House correspondent for CNN, was preparing to go live during New Day when he spotted a raccoon close to his setup.
In the now viral clip, shared on Twitter by New Day anchor Alisyn Camerota, a cameraman alerted Johns that there was raccoon behind him. In response, the journalist loudly yelled “Get!” toward the animal, before throwing a bag and growling in its direction.
Just seconds later, Johns went on-air to discuss the president’s schedule. Once the segment was complete, Johns began discussing the raccoon with his crew.
“Freakin’ raccoon,” he said. “God! Again! It’s the second time! Jesus. It always comes around right about when I’m going to go on TV.”
This is what a consummate professional @joejohnscnn is. Seconds before his @NewDay live shot, he fends off a raccoon attack! Just another day in the nutty news cycle. #behindthescenes#whitehouseraccoon#wildlifepic.twitter.com/p13w3QICiD
Johns later took to Twitter to address the unwanted visitor, sharing that “it’s the 2d time in two weeks a raccoon has shown up shortly after the @NewDay open.”
“I think they’re attracted to the lights,” he speculated, before assuring viewers that “no animals were harmed” during the incident.
“I threw something to scare it off. #CrazyOuttakes,” he added.
So it’s the 2d time in two weeks a raccoon has shown up shortly after the @NewDay open. I think they’re attracted to the lights. No animals were harmed. I threw something to scare it off. #CrazyOuttakeshttps://t.co/VXBPflFYGm
In an interview with CNN after the fact, Johns theorized that the lack of people around the White House due to COVID-19 means that “the animals have run of the house.”
“The magic of television,” he said. “No one had a clue.”
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