Mistakes happen! There would be no blooper reels if they didn’t… but as we all know, not all mistakes are created equal.
Just ask WESH-2 News in Orlando. Somebody was asleep at the wheel, when they let this one get on the air. They meant to point out that the Gainesville pastor who planned to burn Qurans put some of his young followers to work making and selling T-shirts, mugs, and hats. Yes, that’s what they meant to say!
But no! Someone had to go and leave out the “R” in “T-SHIRTS”. So not only did the graphic have a huge error, but whoop, there it is, one of George Carlin’s “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television”!
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I’m not posting this to pick on WESH News. I’m posting this because of my four-plus years as the main electronic graphics guy at WCIX in Miami. I’m not saying I was perfect, but I never made a mistake of this magnitude. I’m also sure that if I had, that night’s producer, or director, or whatever, would have caught it. I’m floored at the WESH mess, not because the error was made, and not because it aired, but because no one had the presence of mind to cut away from it. Punch out, and go to the anchor, or another graphic, or ANYTHING but the S-word! As my former colleague Ileana Varela pointed out on Facebook, “Quality control today has gone to shit… with no R.” I could not have put it any better!