Reuters/Hollywood Reporter
CNN sorry for Bush speech gaffe
Sun Sep 3, 2006 19:55

CNN sorry for Bush speech gaffe

By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - CNN apologized Tuesday after an open
mike transmitted an anchor's bathroom conversation with another woman
live over the network as it was carrying President Bush's speech in New

"Live From" anchor Kyra Phillips had apparently left the set around
12:48 p.m. EDT Tuesday for a bathroom break while the news channel
carried Bush's speech marking the one-year anniversary of Hurricane
Katrina. Phillips' wireless microphone was turned on and picked up about
a minute and a half of a muffled conversation she had with an
unidentified woman where she apparently talked about her husband,
laughed and talked about her brother.

"I've got to be protective of him," she said without being aware that
the mike was on. "He's married, three kids, and his wife is just a
control freak." CNN anchor Daryn Kagan broke into the telecast
immediately afterward updating viewers on what Bush had been saying.

"CNN experienced audio difficulties during the president's speech today
in New Orleans," the CNN statement read. "We apologize to our viewers
and the president for the disruption."

CNN apologized to the White House on Tuesday afternoon. It wasn't clear
whether it was a technical or human malfunction, and CNN, citing
corporate policy, said it wouldn't comment on whether anyone would be
disciplined. It seemed unlikely that anyone would.

CNN hasn't been immune to technical problems, particularly during
political events. In November, a gaffe during a live speech by Vice
President Dick Cheney showed an intermittent "X" on the screen. CNN
apologized and fired a telephone operator who told a caller who
complained that the network was exercising "free speech."

And in July 2004, viewers heard Democratic National Convention producer
Don Mischer swear over an open microphone when balloons didn't
immediately drop after a speech by Sen. John Kerry, the party's
presidential nominee.

But some in the TV business said Tuesday that CNN should have had a
system of checks and balances in place to make sure anchor's mikes are
off when they're not on the air.

"It's a cardinal rule," one executive said.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter


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