April has come and gone, the sun is finally out (for now), and we’re inching our way towards summer. But April had some major flubs that caused PR professionals everywhere to cringe just a little bit. The article talks about the NFL’s “Bountygate” scandal, as well as the “War on Women” fiasco from the campaign trail. However, the one blunder I want to focus on here is a clip from Fox News. Bob Beckel was making an appearance on the show “Hannity.” When they were coming back from commercial, the panel was in the midst of an argument, and Beckel made his opinions very clear.
From where I’m sitting, there are multiple blunders here. Let’s start with the obvious one. Beckel’s interjection of the swear word is loud, clear, and intentional. He is obviously very heated in the moment and (claims) he did not know he was on the air at the time. Once he realizes that they are on live television, he slowly and quietly puts his tail between his legs and apologizes. This is not the first time Beckel has had trouble swearing on live TV, and will probably not be the last time either.
However, I feel like there are several other blunders within this segment.
Let’s award the first to Jennifer Stefano. After the initial use of the questionable word, she continues to argue with and egg on Beckel. I understand that this is a political opinion/debate show, but turning cursing into a political matter is really uncalled for. Help the host issue an apology, don’t try to turn this into something else.
Let’s turn to the director and producers of this show. In my opinion, this is the biggest blunder. There comes a time when you have to start yelling in people’s ears to stop talking. Then there comes a time when you have to pull the plug for a moment. It is unknown from the audiences point of view whether or not the first happened, but it’s blatant that the second didn’t, and it was time to do both. As you watch this clip, the amount of time that they spend on this and dwell on this is painful. Cut it off. Run another commercial. Run a video package. Allow for the panel to compose themselves and continue on with the show.
Somewhere, a Fox News PR Director is sitting at a desk, looking like this
(via Flickr user motti82)