Can You Say That on TV as a News Anchor?

I have to admit that over the years I’ve heard some pretty bizarre things come out of the mouth of folks on TV news.  I’ve been guilty of letting some pretty stupid things slip out and some were intended one way and perceived in another.  More than once I’ve come home after a newscast and my wife asked me “What were you thinking when you said what you said or were you thinking at all?”  So, being somewhat jaded after all these years, I will admit I was still somewhat shocked to hear what Alison Stewart said as she filled in for Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s Countdown.  She was doing some news in one of the light-hearted segments which may have fallen under the heading of Top Three Newsmakers.  The top story was about a guy rushing to get his pregnant wife who had gone into labor to the hospital.  He got as far as a convenience store when she started giving birth and after seeing a little blood, the husband/father walked away from the car leaving the convenience store clerk to actually deliver the baby.  Now, this is th point where the anchor says something whacky or clever.  What Alison Stewart said about the father was “He’s so not getting any ever again.  That kid will be an only child.”

Granted, she was probably spot-on in reflecting the opinion of men and women around the country, but I can honestly say that was the first time I’ve heard a TV news person mention “getting any” on the air.  Maybe it’s a trend.  Look at the buzz it created with me.  Maybe we’ll start seeing that in the morning cross talk when some one is getting ready to toss to weather or traffic.  Something akin to “say you’ll excuse me if I’m a little slow on the uptake but I had a chance to “get some” last night and I’m more than a little tuckered out.”  Hey, if it increases the ratings, don’t be surprised.

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2 Comments on “Can You Say That on TV as a News Anchor?”

  1. Todd Says:

    Maybe it’s the “Jon Stewart” influence? Do you feel that was an “ad lib” or it was scripted?

  2. Joe Says:

    Joe, you may remember I was a producer who was willing to push the envelope in reference to that kind of copy, and I frequently took heat for it. Remember when the Mayor of Nashville was having an open affair with another woman while still married or in the process of getting divorced? I was asked to change some copy where I referred to the Mayor and his girlfriend “shacking up” because they were getting an apartment together. Another time, the EP was giving me grief because I referred to a Clinton-Gore campaign swing in 1992 as “Bill and Al’s excellent adventure across the heartland.” While I was getting this dressing down, the same copy was read on the CBS Morning News on the TV set in the EP’s office. Now, I always thought the point was that TV copy was supposed to be conversational. That type of conversation doesn’t always work for every anchor or every market. But I can see it suiting Ms. Stewart. You may have noticed that Ms. Viera also has a disposition to read copy or make ad-libs like that. Heck she dressed up as a Rockette for crying out loud.


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