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Big stink at Fox News station -- skunk drives station off the air

November 13, 2012|By John M. Glionna
  • A skunk shorted out a Fox News station after soaking the transmitter with its spray and causing a breaker to trip.
A skunk shorted out a Fox News station after soaking the transmitter with… (Tom Friedel / Wikimedia…)

Was it an editorial statement on the quality of the station’s programming content? Or just the work of one animal that decided that it wasn’t going to take it anymore?

Either way, for television viewers in the Rocky Mountain region Monday, the situation stunk.

Officials announced the cause of a nearly 24-hour outage to a Fox News station in southern Colorado: An angry skunk sprayed some sensitive equipment and then — blammo — snow appeared on the screens for thousands of viewers. The outage started Sunday night and affected customers using Dish, Direct TV and antennas.

Station officials at Fox 21 tried to keep their sense of humor late Monday — and hoped viewers would do the same. On its Facebook page, the station posted a shot of the cartoon character Pepe Le Pew, the little skunk’s arms thrown out in resignation.

The official explanation for the problem: The skunk apparently got burned by equipment and retaliated by releasing its spray, soaking the transmitter and causing a breaker to trip. The mishap forced workers to spend the day — holding their noses, no doubt — drying out the transmitter.

“The transmitter is officially fixed,” the station announced victoriously, adding that engineers reporting from the mountain had found "the new cause for our trouble. Apparently the skunk inside burned himself on the equipment, so the critter sprayed the transmitter, which threw the breaker.”

Nature: 1 Fox News: Zero.

“You can't make this stuff up folks,” the station’s announcement concluded. “At any rate, we are happy to be back on.”

john.glionna@latimes.com

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