CNN’s chief congressional reporter Manu Raju reacted Friday to video of himself battling a cicada as it attempted to crash his live shot.
Raju joined CNN’s “New Day” to recap the “horrific incident,” where he admitted that his children were fascinated by cicadas and loved the video. “Me, maybe not so much,” he laughed. (RELATED: ‘F*cking Cicada’: CNN Reporter Absolutely Loses It As Huge Bug Crawls Up His Neck On Camera)
“Manu, I understand something has really been bugging you lately,” Keilar laughed as she introduced the video.
“How do they get there into the — where were you, in the Russell Rotunda, right?” Keilar asked as they cut back to the studio. “What was going — how do they even get in there, and — gross, right?”
“Yeah, look. The context here is important. You know, a couple minutes before that happened, there was actually another cicada that allegedly fell out of my pocket,” Raju explained that he had been outside before the shot and the insect must have hitched a ride inside the building on his clothing.
“And then I was preparing for the live shot, as you saw, and it crawled out and I thought it was maybe my cord at the back of my neck. No it was one of those buggers that was clawing at my neck,” Raju laughed.
Raju went on to say that there had been some discussion among his crew as to whether he should share he video and then, once they decided “the world needs to see this,” a coordinated effort to bleep out all the profanity.
“I gotta tell you, those things gross me out. But my 5-year-old twins — they love cicadas. All they do is talk about them. They put them on their hands. They’re on the cicada research committee on their pre-k class in school. So I can tell you, they love the video,” Raju added. “Me, maybe not so much.”
“Can I just say, I don’t think I’m ever going to get over the fact that the first thing you said to us was ‘the context here is important.’ Cicada attack. The context here is important as if we were talking about the background behind a bill before the U.S. Senate. Manu, where do you find the strength in that moment when you were under attack?” Berman asked.
“It was hard. It was hard. I held back my tears. But, you know, I was only able to go to sleep because I was at the Capitol until probably 11:00, midnight or so and up until about 2 a.m. Otherwise it might have been hard to fall asleep after such a horrific incident,” Raju replied.
“Horrific. Look, I think that that bug, that cicada just knew that you’re very informed and he or she wanted some information about the filibugster or the insect structure bill that Congress may soon be considering. They knew you were the guy, Manu,” Keilar joked.
“Or wanted his or her moment on live TV, which would have happened if we were waiting for Joe Biden to finish speaking,” Raju explained. “So if he finished a few moments earlier, could have been that bug’s moment in the sun.”
“Manu Raju, we are glad you’re okay. That’s all we can say. Be well. God speed. Be safe when you go back up to the Capitol today,” Berman concluded.
“I will. I’ll wear a face shield or something,” Raju laughed.