"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Breaking News from the bathroom

No, don't worry. While I promised a more detailed analysis of my road trip, I don't plan to go into that much detail. The title of this post actually refers to Kyra Phillips, anchor of CNN's "Live From..." , who unwittingly upstaged President Bush's speech in New Orleans Tuesday with on-the-air analysis of her husband and the marriage of her brother -- all live from a CNN ladies room.

As reported by The Associated Press, Phillips was unaware that her wireless microphone was "live" during her potty break, and could be heard overriding Bush's prepared address as he marked the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The intrepid reporter, in conversation with an unidentified woman in an echoey room, dismissed most men as "assholes", but called herself "very lucky in that regard. My husband is handsome and he is genuinely a loving -- you know, no ego -- you know what I'm saying? Just a really passionate, compassionate, great, great human being. And they exist."

A few moments later, she slagged off her sister-in-law to the CNN audience, observing that "brothers have to be, you know, protective. Except for mine. I've got to be protective of him." Why? "His wife is just a control freak."

At that point, another voice cut in: "Kyra!" "Yeah, baby?" replies Phillips. "Your mike is on. Turn it off. It's been on the air!" (In case you missed it, you can see the YouTube video clip here.)

As a former broadcast engineer, I love it. The "accidently live" mic is one of the great technical boo-boos in the television news business, which has resulted in some fabulously unintended quotes from politicians (and others) who should know better. Who could forget Ronald Reagan's famous "the bombing starts in five minutes" reference to the Soviet Union during the height of the cold war? More recently, on July 17 at the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, George Bush engaged in a personal and supposedly private conversation with Tony Blair that was broadcast worldwide. Beginning by casually asking the PM, "Yo, Blair, how are you doing?" Bush then offered his World View on the recent violence in the Mideast: "See the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over."

Phillips later apologized to viewers, while Bush has yet to do so. Since the FCC is cracking down on "indecency" by fining offenders up to $250,000 for any utterance of an obscene word, I think it would be only fair to slap Dubya with the penalty, don't you? "No President is above the law", yada yada.

But don't count on it.


  • At 8/31/2006 06:54:00 PM, Blogger bossann said…

    What would I do without this blog to keep me informed? The video was great! I wonder if her brother and sister-in-law are speaking to her again yet... Does it get any worse than having your sister basically call you a stupid wimp on national tv?


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