Friday, September 18, 2009

When Banter Goes Wrong

New York's WNYW anchor Ernie Anastos inadvertently chooses a very wrong word on air. The NYT reports, and you decide:

Whatever Ernie Anastos, the longtime New York television news anchor, was trying to say, it did not come out right on Wednesday night. His inadvertent use of what could literally be called a barnyard epithet made him an unintended star on the Internet all day Thursday.

In the course of one of those familiar jocular exchanges, Mr. Anastos, the co-anchor on the 10 p.m. newscast on WNYW (Channel 5), seemed to be referring to the old commercial for Perdue chicken when he suggested to the weatherman, Nick Gregory, that “it takes a tough man to make a tender forecast.”

That was not the objectionable portion of the broadcast, but it may have befuddled some viewers because Perdue has not regularly used that phrase in its advertising since 1993. But then Mr. Anastos added a suggestion for what Mr. Gregory could do with the chickens, using a term that qualifies as the sine qua no-no of live television.

Mr. Anastos’s co-anchor, Dari Alexander, looked stunned, and Mr. Gregory tried to grin through the moment. Mr. Anastos appeared not to have noticed that he had said anything wrong.
All the news that's fit to print, indeed. Hurry, call the FCC!