One of the first things you learn in j-school is not to swear near a microphone. An F-bomb in frustration has lead to what might be politely termed a career adjustment. In other words in a number of cases people have been fired for profanity that made it on the air by mistake. Although I’ve always suspected that in some cases abused techs can get their revenge by failing to erase that tape or making sure the blown promo is the one that makes air.
Now we have a new case of open mouth news disease. In this case two producers for KTVA-TV in Anchorage are gone after engaging in not very funny newsroom humor picked up by an answering machine at the campaign of Senate candidate Joe Miller. He’s a favorite of Sarah Palin and the tea party movement. Then the ex-governor attacked the station on Fox News for “conspiring to make things up.”
In an effort to deal with the fall out KTVA canceled its early evening newscasts on Wednesday for a staff meeting on ethics. Not sure what they might say. Perhaps the newsroom needs to be told don’t take sides in a political campaign. If they don’t know that then they should be fired or at least suspended longer than Keith Olbermann. The real lesson, don’t make dumb jokes in the newsroom where non-news staff might not understand the strange and dark humor of newsies. Better yet….never make dumb jokes where they might be picked up by a microphone or a telephone.