Why this newsreader broke down on live TV

An American journalist has broken down in tears on live television as she tried to read news of the forced separation of migrant families at the US-Mexico border.

MSBNC journalist Rachel Maddow began to announce the breaking story about babies and toddlers being sent to “tender age” shelters in Texas when she began to well up.

Finding it difficult to speak she says, “this is unbelievable”, before asking if the TV crew could throw to a graphic.

Struggling through tears, Maddow tries to speak but continues shaking her head, incapable of getting the words out.

Rachel Maddow breaks down while trying to deliver a story about children being separated from their parents at the border. Source: MSNBC.

So distressed by the news Maddow asks for the live-to-air segment to be cut before saying, “I think I’m going to have to hand this off”, throwing to a reporter in the field.

News that the Trump administration has sent young children to shelters in the Rio Grande Valley has sparked outrage and disbelief in America as the implications of a  “zero tolerance” policy towards illegal immigration become clearer.

The Trump administration has reportedly taken more than 2300 children from their parents since the crackdown was launched in early May.

A two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the US-Mexico border on June 12. Source: Getty

Footage of distraught children at soulless-looking encampments have shocked the nation, prompting criticism from the United Nations and politicians across the political spectrum.

Later, Maddow took to Twitter to apologise for her emotional breakdown, writing: “Ugh, I’m sorry.”

“If nothing else, it is my job to actually be able to speak while I’m on TV.”

But it seems most people were sympathetic to Maddow’s reaction.

“Watching Rachel Maddow break down on live television given the horror of news about where the administration is putting babies is surreal,” law professor Anthony Michael Kreis wrote.

“Rachel Maddow is no snowflake,” another Twitter user observed.

“It was hard to watch her suffer through that story. America, we are not above this, but we can be.”