Conservative reporter Nick Sortor was mocked online after he was awkwardly confronted by a Maui resident who accused him of taking up resources on the wildfire-ravaged island.
Sortor had traveled to Maui to report on the wildfires in Lahaina and was featured as a guest on Steve Bannon's War Room podcast when the exchange occurred.
As Sortor was speaking about the wildfires, the resident approached him, questioning his presence and efforts on the island. The man challenged Sortor, asking about his interactions with the victims and expressing concern that Sortor was using resources without directly helping those affected by the wildfires.
Taken aback by the unexpected confrontation, Sortor explained the situation to Bannon and the podcast's audience. The exchange was captured live on air, allowing listeners to witness the unfolding incident.
You can watch what happened in the video below.
The Maui resident emphasized the devastating impact of the wildfires on the community and expressed frustration that Sortor seemed more focused on his reporting than on directly assisting those in need:
“You are supposed to be meeting with people here. What victims have you met with? ... I thought you were staying in a tent. You are taking up resources.” ...
“I don’t know how you live with yourself, man. You see the devastation. You’ve seen the people."
“I can see you tearing up because you know how much these people are suffering."
Sortor denied he was "taking up any resources" and continued engaging with Bannon, telling the audience that “people actually tracked me down" and "you are seeing this live right now."
When Bannon asked Sortor what was happening, Sortor responded:
“Dude, I’m getting chased is what’s going on. This is what happened, I ended up getting doxxed.”
The man contradicted Sortor's claim about "getting doxxed" however, saying he "posted a picture of [his] location" in that same spot as soon as he'd arrived on Maui.
Sortor denied this and told Bannon that he was "floored" by the interaction, prompting Bannon to inquire about Sortor's safety.
Sortor, who had already moved quickly away from the man and was speaking with Bannon as he continued to walk down the road, replied:
“I don’t know. I don’t even know what to say, to be honest. This is terrifying.”
Sortor, who is not a trained journalist and comes from a real estate background, was mocked online after the footage went viral.
In response to the incident, Sortor later posted on social media that he had taken a break from posting to allow the situation to settle and so he could refocus, claiming he did not want news coverage to revolve around him.
He wrote, in part:
"This is about obtaining PEACE & JUSTICE for the families of Lahaina. After the events of yesterday, several locals contacted me offering to accompany me to Lahaina, and they introduced me some TRULY amazing people."
"I'm so inspired. Even with the absolute HELL the people of Lahaina have been going through, there are still so many inspiring and heartwarming stories. I can’t wait to write about them."
You can see his tweet below.
Sortor was called out for his post as well.
Hawaii is grappling with the aftermath of historic wildfires that have left over 1,000 individuals still unaccounted for after the blazes ravaged the island.
State officials are issuing cautionary warnings that the death toll is expected to rise as search and recovery operations persist.
The fires have already marked their place as among the most deadly wildfires in recent U.S. history. However, the true extent of the destruction remains uncertain and may take time to fully comprehend.