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Err on-air tonight and it's on the Web forever

August 03, 2007|Jake Coyle | Associated Press

In the 1987 movie "Broadcast News," Aaron Altman, played by Albert Brooks, has one shot at the anchor's seat, only to be beset by a rabid case of flop sweat.

William Hurt's character, the slick but shallow Tom Grunick, describes Altman's moist meltdown as unprecedented, "unless you count 'Singin' in the Rain.' "

Nowadays, there's much precedent. Video-sharing sites such as YouTube are ensuring that every TV anchor mishap is preserved and distributed. No, the onset of online video has not been kind to TV personalities.

Reporting for a Ball State University news program, Brian Collins runs through the day's sports news in such awkward fashion that even Ricky Gervais would squirm watching (http://).

Nearly 400,000 have watched a compilation of TV news bloopers on YouTube (http://tinyurl). Among the videos included are the now-infamous local newswoman who falls hard while reporting on grape-stomping, as well as Michelle Kosinksi's canoe paddling in ankle-deep flooding in New Jersey.

Verbal slips can make a big splash too, such as the local news anchor who introduced a segment on a blind mountain climber by accidentally saying he was gay ( This anchor for Sky News misunderstood breaking news on playwright Harold Pinter ( She announces he has died when he had in fact just won the Nobel Prize.

Some mistakes can look like outtakes from "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy." Stephanie Soviar, reporting for an NBC affiliate in Indiana, crashes an ATV in just seconds (

King of them all is a Miami weatherman ( A cockroach's seemingly innocuous decision to crawl up this man's leg during a live broadcast has resulted in the glee of hundreds of thousands.

Still, you can't help but feel sympathy for the thousands of anchors, reporters and weathermen who populate our morning shows and local news programs. Without their pratfalls, flop sweats and catch phrases, YouTube would be a less joyful place.

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