Oops! My Bad! Top Broadcast News Fails

Joe KernenKelly Conaty/CNBC

Anything can happen on live TV. A slip of the tongue can mean the difference between a F-bomb or a Freudian slip, but sometimes broadcast news can fail spectacularly in all sorts of ways. While some guffaws are fodder for blooper-reels, others are just bad journalism and not-so P.C friendly. While our insider knowledge of broadcast news is largely based on watching too many episodes of Newsroom —just remember these screw-ups got by an entire team of people.

Race Relations

Apparently CNBC Squawk Box Host Joe Kernen just could not contain his hilarious Indian joke, much to the horror or his fellow co-hosts. During the discussion about the value of rupees, Kernen adopted a fake Indian accent and mumbled something original about 7-Eleven. As Aziz Ansari would say, “I think it’s so cool that some of you guys were able to travel back in time to 1995 for those Indian jokes you did.”

As if that were enough, sometimes it’s not just the anchors that play fast and loose with racial stereotypes. After the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco, Fox affiliate KTVU ran a list of fake pilot names that seemed dreamed up by Bart Simpson and not the largest Fox local station. Along with displaying the names, they were also read by the anchors on air after being fact checked by an intern. Proving what we knew all along — that interns are really running the show.

Picture Perfect

Sometimes we can blame the graphics department for many a mix-up. The tragic case of a missing teenager made viral history, after the new suspect was revealed to be hamster by WFSB in Hartford. The furry “mug shot” was also accompanied the rodent holding a film slate — at least it wasn’t pictured in a crime-evading wheel.


We get it, it’s hard to say pianist — we do it all the time. Our nicknames for naughty bits seem to have a knack for making it on broadcast more often than not. Reporting from the field, this one reporter slips up some friendly chitchat with a particularly busty-anchor back at the station and ends up congratulating her on her giant rack.

Ladies (and Gentleman) don’t pretend to hold an object up near your mouth unless there is a microphone in it. Poor Canadian news anchor Lisa Dutton was excited to share her “mom-preneur” idea about using a vibrating toothbrush for teething newborns. The result is exactly what happens when you try to demonstrate anything vibrating on live television.