Thursday, June 22, 2017

Remember, you're always ON THE AIR

Wow. This is odd. Some public figure made an innocuous off-colored remark in this ultra-PC climate and he wasn’t buried on Twitter. In fact, people seem to take it in stride. Thank you Mets fans. The reaction (at least from what I’ve seen) has been amusement. Besides, there’s enough real shit to get furious over that it’s stupid to waste your outrage on something like this.

We're talking about a comment Mets’ TV analyst Keith Hernandez said during the Mets-Dodger game on Monday night. Oh, by the way, he didn’t say it on the air. He said it during a commercial break but his mic was still hot and if you had a satellite receiver you were able to hear it. So to 99% of the audience, it went unnoticed. More reason why this should be a non-story… although it’s not. Deadspin and the Huffington Post both had stories on it.

So what did Keith actually say?

He was talking to his broadcast partner, Gary Cohen about a pitcher who has been getting hit hard lately. And he casually remarked: “Roark’s been getting his tits lit.”

That’s it.

First off, “getting his tits lit” is a baseball expression. And sorry PC’ers, it’s a fairly common baseball expression. And not that dissimilar to “colder than a witch's tit.

Again, what I’m heartened by is that Mets fans took Keith’s comment for what it was (nothing) and laughed it off.

But it does again remind us that anytime a mic is hot, or anytime we post anything on the internet we are essentially broadcasting. We all live in a giant fishbowl. Remember Al Michaels said some things between innings of the 1987 World Series that pissed a few satellite watchers off and caused a bit of a shitstorm. When I was doing Mariner telecasts I asked people between innings to send in a postcard and I got a bunch from around the country. They’re out there. (They were especially out there for our telecasts because between innings our director would often focus on hot girls in the stands.)

Still, the point remains – when you post a photo of yourself in a Speedo on Instagram or angry tweet when you’re shit-faced, you might as well have a microphone and camera open to the world. And it could get scary. Potential employers Google you and when that 2011 toga party comes up that you were tagged in and you’re seen French kissing a sump pump this does not bode well for you getting that job.

So be careful. You might not get off as easily as Keith Hernandez. You might really get your tits caught in the ringer.

26 comments :

Mike Barer said...

Think twice before you hit the "publish your comment" button or use a screen name.

Anonymous said...

I thinks it's tits caught in a wringer. It's tits caught in a ringer if you're wearing bells for a bra.

VP81955 said...

This Nationals fan didn't care. All I have to do is look at the NL East standings and see where the Mets are.

Now the Nats bullpen, on the other hand...

Michael said...

Ken, as I recall--it may have been the time you mention, it may have been another time--Michaels made some comments that a sportswriter then reported. The next night, between innings, Michaels kept attacking the guy during the satellite feed. In other words, while Michaels was wronged, he also responded like an egotistical, childish twit. In another words, like the current occupant of the Oval Office.

MikeN said...

Note to on air talent. STOP APOLOGIZING. It encourages these snowflakes to complain more. Mike Schmidt(and I think Keith Hernandez said it too) did nothing wrong in noting that players need to speak English to be team leaders.

slgc said...

Mets fans are used to Keith being Keith. He's often outrageous but he's not mean spirited. And this is far from the worst thing he's ever said.

But that brings me to a Friday question - what is the worst thing that you've ever said that was caught on a mic and/or was on the air?

Doctor Boogie said...

As Ken well knows, radio is famous for these "oh shit, was I on the air?"... "Oh fuck, I said 'shit'" moments.

My favorite was in 1973. The jocks were trained to "just keep your show going even if you think the station is off the air." So the afternoon dj was in that situation, the station was off the air, and he is nonchalantly talking between the records knowing full well nobody can hear him. The engineer that ran the controls was having a blast with the dj and they were cracking each other up. THEN, without warning the transmitter had restarted, this Boss Jock said: "oh shit, just play another fucking record." A LOT of people in Los Angeles heard that on their favorite station: 93KHJ.

This was the best thing that ever happened to me as I (the late night dj) happened to be in the building. I was hustled into the studio as the FORMER guy was being led out and I get to do afternoon drive on KHJ for the next 3 days.

Gary West said...

Geez - it's a nothing comment. Don't folks have better things to do?

Anonymous said...

It's not like he said "grab them by the p---y" for crying out loud! LOL Janice B.

Andy Rose said...

I don't know if they still do it, but during the Carson and Leno years, they used to use the last break of The Tonight Show (when local stations were airing their own commercials) to feed a quick tease for affiliates. Once a guest mentioned that he sometimes watched the show on satellite and had seen these teases before. Jay said they occasionally got letters from people watching during the break.

NBC is unusual in that they have never scrambled their satellite feeds. If you poke around YouTube, you can find some video of Today show and Nightly News hosts getting ready for their shows that people recorded from home.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Big nothing. Where an American says something went "belly up" (i.e., failed), the British routinely say "tits up." Despite a female monarch and a female prime minister, the earth does not spin off its axis.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

On the other hand, watch this consummate pro at the BBC. Last night, Huw Williams was due to start the evening news when something went wrong. He remained calm and at his desk throughout, and when his cue finally came started right up. Awesome. Viewers, meanwhile, were seeing a bizarre and unrelated series of images, periodically cutting back to him:

http://gizmodo.com/bbc-news-program-experiences-the-most-awkward-glitch-1796317756

wg

Cheryl Marks said...

As I recall Ken, when you were doing the Mariners games the team was pretty bad. The games probably would have gotten even better ratings if the director, Kevin Cremin?, had focused on hot chicks during the game.

Ken Levine said...

Kevin is the producer/director of the radio broadcasts. The TV director was someone else. Kevin is retiring after this season. He's the absolute best that will ever be at that job.

Curt Alliaume said...

>>get your tits caught in the (w)ringer

Like what might have happened to Katharine Graham?

Ken said...

A Friday question.
You have mentioned the issues some actors have when they have been overly identified with a single sole/character.
You mentioned George Reeves and the woman on the Progressive commercials (Stephanie Courtney) as well as the Coffee lady from Folgers commercials (Virginia Christine)
On the flip side does it affect a performers career when they are almost unrecogonisible because of costume/ make up for a role. i.e. Worf ( Micheal Dorn ) Neelix ( Ethan Phillip) or Smaug ( Benedict Cumberbatch - yeah right).
Are they overlooked because they are not "famaliar"?

Aloha

VP81955 said...

In the early 2000s, I was working overnight putting together a weekly newspaper in New Jersey, listening to WCBS-AM. The sports report came on at about 3:15, and the reporter stopped in the middle of it for some reason and said something really vulgar. (I don't think it was one of the George Carlin seven, but it came pretty close.) After that night, I don't believe I ever heard that guy on the station again.

Liggie said...

I used to have the NHL "Center Ice" package on DirecTV, and the Dallas Stars' feed kept the banter and cameras on during commercials. When the Stars once visited the then-lowly Tampa Bay Lightning, a cameraman got a shot of a senior citizen sitting next to a trio of pretty Florida girls. The analyst circled the older man on his telestrator and said, "This guy's doing pretty good for himself tonight!"

That game ended with a comfortable Dallas win, blemished only when the Lightning grabbed a last-minute goal to avoid a shutout. The Stars goalie got into camera position for a post-game interview, and the announcers asked, "Quite a tip-in by Andreychuk, huh?" To which the goalie responded, "Yeah, and that just burns my ass!" Then they got ready for the actual on-air interview, and the goalie switched to Bull Durham cliches like, "I was disappointed to lose the shutout, but you have to give Andreychuk credit for a great goal."

Barry Traylor said...

That is what my wife and I were trying to explain to her 11 year old daughter last weekend. that ANYTHING/EVERYTHING she posts online is there forever. Although why an 11 year old kid needs a smart phone is beyond my understanding

So kids, stay the hell off my lawn, cause I'm old and cranky.

Andrew said...

I wish the same grace had been shown Imus for "nappy-headed ho's." I agree that there should be some standards, but c'mon. Lighten up, Francis.

DBA said...

Mets fans have enough baseball-related things to be upset about. No energy left for a nothing comment that's not actually offensive.

Jahn Ghalt said...

Good to see that the Salon article regarded Hernandez' nothing-burger for what it was - unlike all that precious noise over Maher's "house-N!##ER" joke

(which was finessed out in the delayed broadcast I saw)

Tom Tully said...

This takes us back to the early, early days of baseball, before the last century and the invention (and intervention) of TV and radio. The expression announced on the megaphone to the crowd by the crowd-presenter was that batters were "kneading his bustle" or "brim-stoning his behind," Same difference.

slgc said...

Keith has apparently learned his lesson. In the top of the 7th of tonight's Mets/Giants game Keith was discussing how much he always liked Rick Monday, because he "hustled his ass off." Then Keith added, "Excuse my language."

Randy Kammrad said...

I know this is off-topic, but I remember as a kid of 14 or so, I laughed myself silly with a comment by one of the Seattle players in Jim Bouton's great Ball Four that one of their teammate's girl friend (or maybe his Baseball Annie) looked like "Joe Torre with tits".

I had Joe Torre's Topps card from the Cardinals, and the idea of any lady looking like him, with the permanent 5 o'clock shadow and intense look, still makes me giggle.

Richard said...

Cut the words your tits and run it.