A Fox affiliate television station is refusing to apologize for accidentally broadcasting a room full of reporters offering very frank assessments of a speech by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
The slip-up happened Friday night as Fox40 in Sacramento was broadcasting live from California State University, Stanislaus. After the speech concluded, journalists and crew members behind the scenes offered some off-the-cuff assessment of her remarks, with one man saying he felt like he’d just stepped off a roller coaster.
Another said he could understand why “the dumbness doesn’t come through in sound-bytes.” Yet another argued that she’d not used a complete sentence or even “made a statement.”
The station insists their reporter and photographer were not behind the comments — however, they do not offer an apology or name the reporters whose voices were picked up.
Indeed, it’s possible the error was due to Palin’s pronounced dislike of the media, as even the Fox crew was turned away from her actual speech, according to their explanation. Instead of filming the former official up close, they were forced to point their cameras at a screen in a media overflow area at a separate venue.
“We were faced with two decisions — to not carry a speech of local and national importance due to the low-quality methods we’d be forced to transmit, or to provide a signal by any means necessary,” the station explained. “It was with the public interest in mind that we opted for the latter.”
They continue: “the comments overheard were made by reporters assembled from other newspaper and television outlets, and at no time was the voice of our photographer heard on the stream. It’s very likely that those reporters and photographers were unaware, or simply forgot, that there was one television station with an open microphone broadcasting to the world.”
Tammy Bruce, an independent conservative pundit, occasional Fox News analyst and noted Sarah Palin fan, suggested on her blog that the Fox40 cameraman was indeed involved in the exchange, although she admits that the station’s news director seemed “thoughtful” and that she’d believe his verdict.
“Unfortunately, there’s no way to immediately identify the photographers and reporters making commentary following Sarah Palin’s speech, and it would be inappropriate for FOX40 News and FOX40.com to apologize on their behalf,” the station concluded in their explanation posted Saturday morning.
This video and audio was captured by Fox40 in Sacramento on Friday, June 25, 2010.
Palin’s speech is available here.