The Hazards of Live TV: #25,223

It’s well documented that networks during breaking news events don’t always vet their sources properly…especially when “eyewitness” phone ins are concerned. Well, it happened to MSNBC today as The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple writes


41 Responses to “The Hazards of Live TV: #25,223”

  1. This isn’t really a HOLTV event. It’s getting punked/pranked by some moron looking for 5 seconds of TV fame. I think Wemple has it completely right that there is no way this should have made it on air. This isn’t some chyron spelling error and heads should defiantly roll on The Cycle.

    I’ll give Ball and the other on air hosts a pass (barely) as they are supposed to do as told in these situations. Still this is as bad as it gets for these sort of screw-ups.

  2. defiantly >>> definitely Sorry!

  3. joeremi Says:

    I’m told that Bernard Goldberg actually called Krystal Ball a moron. Krystal Ball..possibly the nicest person in cable news, caught in a bad situation during a terrible Breaking News event. Who’s the moron here…?

  4. LynnLGM Says:

    There are layers of screwup to this. First, the guy gets on the air. Then he says what he says. She misses it, the idiot behind the scenes misses it, and she goes on asking questions. Yeah, that’s about as bad as it gets, and her only “credit” is that she doesn’t do this on a regular basis. It’s MSNBC’s fault for pretending to do news, but not having someone to come in at a moment like this.

  5. joeremi Says:

    I think MSNBC’s decision to cover Breaking News with the liberal newstalk-heads they usually have in those slots is ridiculous. Translating those decisions to “Krytal Ball is a moron” is bulls**t.

  6. Well, the situation made her look like a moron. Life can be very unfair.

  7. Five Basic Rules For Hosts in BREAKING COVERAGE:
    1) Stop any funny patter.
    2) Ignore any temptation to speculate.
    3) If you don’t know it, don’t say it.
    4) No, it’s probably not an AR-15,
    5) At the first mention of “Howard Stern”, break to commercial.

  8. joeremi Says:

    The situation made her look like she got screwed by a lousy screener, and is too nice to comprehend that a guy supposedly talking about 295 dead people would say something disgusting. The moron is Bernard Goldberg, who could learn something about saying something disgusting for a cheap shot on television.

  9. savefarris Says:

    joe’s right in that Krystal Ball was never hired for her journalistic bonafides: she was hired because she knows how to read blog posts from TPM and ThinkProgress. Asking her to do real news is like asking Wolf Blitzer to do World Cup play-by-play.

    That said, even a rock is self-aware enough not to “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” Even the caller couldn’t believe how dumb she was.

    Admit it: if it was Killmeade or Hannity who had done the same thing, it’d be a 2 hour special on The Daily Show.

  10. joeremi Says:

    Admit it, conservatives have an innate ability to turn a mistake from a non-conservative into a round of bleating so nauseating everyone forgets the original mistake. Congratulations, you guys do it every single time.

  11. LynnLGM Says:

    I would have thought that the Sterners got over that crap years ago. Does Stern even comment on it? What’s the thrill?

  12. savefarris Says:

    Admit it, conservatives have an innate ability to turn a mistake from a non-conservative into a round of bleating

    It doesn’t hurt that Ball heretofore painted her political opponents as anti-intellectual rubes who reveled in their idiocracy.

    You set yourself up as a know-it-all and smarter than everyone else, you’re gonna get dinged extra hard when it’s your turn in the barrel.

  13. The moron is the dirtbag who thought punking coverage of the deaths of 295 people was funny. 80. Children.

  14. danoregon Says:

    I’ve always thought there would be an SOP to confirm an identity. Take a number, call it back, verify the identity. AND for gosh sakes, even then don’t do a live interview over the phone while live on air unless that person is a correspondent or the ID has been absolutely confirmed (politician, city official…i.e. someone who might actually know something).

  15. motownman Says:

    An incident like this just shows how much MSNBC misses a true professional like Chris Jansing.

  16. “The moron is the dirtbag who thought punking coverage of the deaths of 295 people was funny. 80. Children.”

    But he’s just a nobody jerk. She’s a cable news professional who forever is tarnished by her moronic response. The fact you don’t like it means it’s just another add to a long list of steam bloweroffs. I, however will join the moral migh ground to offer Ms. Ball my sympathy though I’ve never liked her.

  17. Ball: “Let’s turn now to an MSNBC exclusive. U.S. Staff Sgt. Michael Boyd is at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and says that he saw a missile in the air hit the plane. He is on the phone with us. Sergeant, are you there?”

    Actually, any journalist with an IQ two notches above moron would know the U.S. embassy is in Kiev, far far far far far away from any Russian separatist controlled crash site.

  18. LynnLGM Says:

    Bottom-line is that she shouldn’t have been put in that position. What I hear is that most of yesterday afternoon, MSNBC had a major news event being anchored by opinion people. That is the sin. If anyone is a “moron” it’s the people in charge. You barely hire someone like Ball for her opinions, let alone her versatility as an anchor. Put Tantaros in that spot, and see how it goes.

  19. joeremi Says:

    You would think the distinctions between network, host and crank caller would be important, but nobody gives a damn. Krystal Ball is a liberal, so let’s get a couple of old blowhards on FNC to throw a fit and call her a moron. I guarantee you if those gasbags met her in person, they wouldn’t do that.

    As you say, the problem is with the position MSNBC put her in. It drives me crazy that they keep opinion people on air when Breaking News hits, which is why I turned to CNN when The Cycle came on. Krystal Ball is not a journalist, and was not hired as such. But forget all that, forget that some lowlife scum got past a screener to have a little “joke” about the deaths of AIDS workers and children..let’s call the nice young lady a moron. I hope everybody’s happy now.

  20. Why does Joe keep saying Krystal Ball is a ‘nice lady’. Did he date her or something? She’s nice but Megyn Kelly is a ‘bitch’?!?

  21. Krystal Ball is a nice person. That’s why I said so. This isn’t complicated.

  22. it’s complicated as it can be.

  23. Megyn Kelly is a nice person. Santa told me.

  24. Let he who says a bad word against a nice person earn the wrath of the gods! But who is a dubbed a nice person? There’s the joke the gods play.

  25. But hey, the girl’s all right!
    Nice guys finish first:
    “@krystalball: I’m in today for @RonanFarrow. See you at 1! @RonanDaily”

  26. It’s really not that hard to identify a genuinely nice person on TV. Krystal is one, and to pick a contrast on another network with an opposing ideology, Dana Perino is another.

    I, on the other hand, am not a nice person. Trust me.

  27. savefarris Says:

    let’s call the nice young lady a moron.

    As Krystal Ball has said herself innumerable times about her political opponents: It’s not mean if it’s true.

  28. Well, Joe is making me feel like a meanie, so I’ll buy his judgement of her and take a timeout for the rest of the day as punishment.

  29. An idiot felt the death of 298 children was funny. But, sure, let’s criticize Krystal Ball.

    As for news coverage itself, nobody came close to Al Jazeera but MSNBC and CNN both did a good job. Fox News should be careful about casting stones because their coverage was for four straight hours last night amounted to, it’s Obama’s fault the plane was shot down because he wasn’t in Washington. Or something.

  30. joeremi Says:

    As usual, FNC’s “news coverage” morphed into a political attack ad for Republicans. It never takes long..

  31. motownman Says:

    Dana Perino is a nasty little bitch whose claim to fame is she was the mouthpiece for the worst president in my lifetime.

  32. joeremi Says:

    I detest George W. Bush, and don’t think much of Perino’s tenure with him (or her knowledge of Cold War history), but that comment is a bit much.

  33. As usual, FNC’s “news coverage” morphed into a political attack ad for Republicans. It never takes long..

    Usually, it’s MSNBC that’s first to get political. This time, MSNBC’s political pundits acted like journalists and Fox News’ “journalists” rushed to criticize Obama for something, anything

  34. Bizarrely, MSNBC has been doing the most standard news on this thing: The details of the disaster, and the geopolitics. FNC ran to “let’s figure out how the Democrat screwed up”, and CNN turned it into a maudlin news doc with endless stories about victims and families. I don’t recall this being SOP for plane crashes, and it seems kinda tabloidish. MSNBC is the only one of the three to have stuck with real news, and that was with most of it being handled by opinion people.

  35. Oh bunk. If MSNBC isn’t using their best journalist assets to cover breaking news, they should get out of the BREAKING news business. Risking their Republican bashers looking like morons isn’t good for their brand even if fanboys try to patch things up on the rebound.

  36. joeremi Says:

    What I said was that MSNBC has done the best Job of treating this story properly, in spite of using opinion people, a practice I don’t like. I still don’t like it.

  37. if that were all…

  38. imnotblue Says:

    Hey now! FOX’s coverage may be political… but I have watched all those shows, and know that each and every single host is nice.

    They are all nice people.

    Therefore, you should stop all criticism or mockery immediately! Jerks!

  39. You’re rusty, Blue. The criticism of Bernie isn’t that he criticized Krystal’s performance, it’s that he quite unnecessarily called her a moron, which is a simply bizarre comment to make. When Bill O’Reilly is the person on set trying to reel you in, you may be a little overheated..

  40. Practice makes the rust wear off. Joe getting back in form.

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