An anchor for News 12 The Bronx in New York sparked controversy this week after the station mistakenly broadcast him ranting about people who use government assistance.
During what he probably thought was a commercial break on Wednesday morning's broadcast, veteran anchor Matt Pieper advised reporter Amy Yensi that she had two minutes before a segment about the need for school crossing guards in certain areas.
"And Dave wants you to also mention that parents do their f*cking jobs and walk their little kids to school on their own and not rely on everyone else kind of like people rely on government assistance for their entire lives," Pieper grumbled.
"I actually added the part about government assistance but it’s true. I mean, how old are these kids?" he noted.
"I think I qualify for government assistance," Yensi joked.
"Just check that box, girl," Pieper quipped.
News 12 viewers lashed out on the station's Facebook page.
"News 12 the Bronx should definitely and definitively take action against matt piper and possibly Amy yensi if that was a derogatory statement made towards people of low income (Ebt recipients)," Jovahn Howard wrote. "Do they understand that the majority of their viewership here in the Bronx could possibly be of low income? And matt piper spewing that foul language and hateful elitist tone should be forced to apologize to the viewers on air and in social media. That was disgusting."
"Good to know I was not the only one that heard the f bomb," Anne Ledesma agreed. "[B]oth their comments were unnecessary especially when talking about children and people that depend on food stamps...I know of old people that have worked their entire life and get pennies from retirement not cool...and to think I liked Amy and Matt."
The station later issued a statement on Facebook blaming the incident on a "technical error."
"As a result of a technical error during a program break this morning, a personal conversation between an anchor and a reporter was unintentionally placed on the air," the statement said. "The conversation included offensive language and inappropriate commentary. News 12 the Bronx deeply regrets that this incident took place."
The station also promised that steps had been taken "to deal with the employees involved and resolve the technical issues."
It was not immediately clear if Pieper or Yensi faced any disciplinary actions over the comments.
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