13 August 2007

Kerry O'Brien spits dummy on air, then apologises

On tonight's 7.30 Report Kerry O'Brien didn't check that his microphone was switched off before launching into an intemperate dummy spit about the story he'd just introduced. He did, in a manner of speaking, apologise when he returned to camera. No doubt this will be edited out of the online version of the program (see link) but it'll be interesting to see what, if anything, the mainstream media make of the gaffe.

Update 14 August

Not surprisingly, the scene has turned up on YouTube

The Fairfax media hasn't, as far as I can tell, mentioned the story online (why not?) but The Australian printed Nicola Berkovic's story in its print edition, and posted a pretty much identical version on the News.com.au website (albeit in the "entertainment" section):

O'Brien was heard having a rant about mixed up auto-cues during a story by chief political correspondent Michael Brissenden. Earlier, O'Brien had stumbled while introducing the segment, which is possibly when he realised that changes he had made to the text did not appear in his auto-prompt.

"I don't know what's happened, but I changed my bloody links. I changed that link and I wrote it into the Canberra cue, and that's not the link I've written," O'Brien was heard to say, while on air.

No doubt O'Brien, who has worked as a journalist for more than 40 years, would have had more to say after he realised his displeasure was expressed on air. O'Brien later apologised for the "studio sound" leading into Brissenden's story.

O'Brien is known for his usually cool persona on camera. He has been a presenter on The 7.30 Report since 1995, after six years on the ABC's Lateline program.

News.com.au has also taken pity on Kerry and attempted to put his rant into perspective by providing a list of a dozen on air gaffes .

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