Entries Tagged as 'NBC News'

“if only i could take back what i said.”

audio’connell_on_air

Every one of us has wished for the power to erase or take back something we’ve said to someone. We were thoughtless, hurtful, angry, ignorant or insensitive but whatever the reason we said something wrong or improper.

We can offer apologies until we’re blue in the face but usually only time eases the memory for all parties (and sometimes not even then).

But if like me you’ve ever been on a live microphone broadcasting to thousands of people, you know the pitfalls of saying something wrong on the air. The “wrong” gets magnified significantly. Not only can you not take it back, someone may have actually recorded your mistake.

Avoiding such wrong or improper comments on the air is part of how one gets labeled a responsible broadcaster. Making a mistake, even one time, may cause a broadcaster to receive the opposite label.

Sue Simmons’ f-bomb on a live newscast promo for WNBC-TV in New York on Monday night is but one prime example of a classic broadcasting flub. These promos are sometimes live and sometimes taped. Simmons confused the two Monday night and the bomb was dropped live.

I’m not sure what should/can be done about it other than to offer a sincere and contrite apology which Simmons did on the station’s 11 o’clock show. I can only imagine the dread she felt when she realized her mistake, had to read the apology and live with outcries from viewers and know-it-alls. If only….

When you are around microphones and cameras all day, sometimes you forget they are there, that they are on and that they are live. You make a mistake and you live with the consequences when you are a live broadcaster. She could be fired or suspended or the matter could be dropped. It depends how the lawyers feel on that particular day and what Simmons’ reputation has been. She’s pretty well liked and respected from what I’ve heard.

Contrast that with another broadcasting mistake uncovered this week and played over and over. Bill O’Reilly was taping (big difference) a promo for Inside Edition some years ago when he had a diva-like temper tantrum and dropped an angry f-bomb (or two) during his tirade. That incident was more telling about O’Reilly’s true personality and professionalism as a broadcaster – both poor in my opinion. I kept thinking as I watched his tirade how glad everyone must have been to get that guy off their show. Colbert’s spoof last night was awesome:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bill O’Reilly Inside Edition
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News

Here’s a dirty little broadcasting secret, off the air many (not all) radio and television broadcasters swear like sailors on occasion. It can be very salty. Maybe it’s because of the restrictions and pressures of not saying bad words on the air that causes them to be unleashed (usually in a humorously intended way) off air, but it happens.

The bad news is sometimes when broadcast performers unleash, they forget where they are and they don’t realize the on-air light is on.

Now its time for YOU to fess up. What’s been your worst broadcast flub, live or otherwise?

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the revulsion is still there

remembering the towers

I knew what was going to happen when I started the player. I had seen it hundreds of times from many angles.

Yet today when I clicked on the player, as I watched the event unfold again, my eyes squinted, my hands trembled and my posture was taut.

Knowing that the plane was going to crash into the second tower on September 11th didn’t ease my shock nor did it still the memories of everything that played out in the hours, days, weeks, months and years ahead.

The Internet Archive has collected video from all the major American and UK networks as the events of September 11th unfolded live on TV.

From a journalistic or media perspective it is an invaluable resource which again proves how the internet can be a wonderful educational tool.

You should watch it for that reason or because you are an American or because you are a human being.

So much time has passed and I am still so angry.