Thursday, November 13, 2008

Karel KO'ed from KGO

As I warned a few days ago, after MSNBC's Joe Scarborough inadvertantly dropped the F-bomb live on television, media personalities need to watch their tongues whenever there is a microphone in sight. Unfortunately, this is something that KGO/San Francisco weekend host Charles Bouley, a.k.a. Karel, did not do.

While doing his show from his home studio in Long Beach, he assumed he was off the air in a news break when he launched into a nasty tirade about McCain Campaign mascot Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher. "Joe the m-f-ing plumber," he said, and also claimed that he was sick of him and wanted him "dead."

Unfortunately, while he was saying all this, the KGO engineer who would normally keep an eye on this sort of thing, was in the bathroom. Uh oh! And the wireless microphone Karel was using did not have a cutoff switch.

"If it’s a microphone, treat it like it’s live, no matter what," said KGO programmer Jack Swanson, who subsequently fired both Karel and the engineer:

KGO Radio nighttime talk host Karel has been fired, after an obscenity-laden rant heard live on his show earlier this month.

KGO station management made the move after Karel cursed repeatedly upon hearing a story about "Joe the Plumber" during the ABC Network News at the top of the hour.

Karel thought his microphone was off at the time, but it had been left on accidentally. He immediately apologized to listeners.

The board operator on duty at the time has also been fired.

Karel’s website explanation is here. And he believes at least one complaint has been filed with the FCC.

A long time ago, when I worked behind the mic in radio, I had a longstanding personal rule. Namely, don't ever cuss in the studio. Granted, it is typically safe if the microphone is not live. But what if it isn't. Besides, keeping the street language out of the studio helps to ward off any bad habits creeping into the room.

Moral of the story: Don't cuss where you do your show.

The YouTube clip can be found here.


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