News Nets Apologize for Airing Profanity from Anthony Trial

Casey Anthony (Photo: Associated Press)

Casey Anthony (Photo: Associated Press)

A recording of a profanity-laced phone call played at the Casey Anthony trial made it on to the air on both Fox News Channel and MSNBC.

Both news channels subsequently apologized to viewers for failing to employ a seven-second delay that would have bleeped out five uses of the f-word in the phone call, reports The Hollywood Reporter. The phone call from defendant Casey Anthony to her mother was played in court Monday as part of the prosecution’s closing arguments (actually, a rebuttal to a closing argument delivered by Anthony’s attorney).

Fox News weekend anchor Gregg Jarrett – a trial-coverage veteran who was formerly an anchor on the old Court TV network (now TruTV) – apologized to FNC viewers even before the recording was done playing. Fox then switched on its seven-second delay for the duration of the trial. MSNBC also apologized during the playing of the recording and it, too, vowed to institute the seven-second delay.

MSNBC seems to have an on-again, off-again relationship with its delay apparatus. Last week, Time magazine editor and political analyst Mark Halperin was heard calling President Obama a “d**k” on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” morning show. The airing of the statement was blamed on a producer who was unfamiliar with how to operate the delay switch, possibly because it’s so seldom used.

Meanwhile, the Anthony trial has proven to be one of those rare court cases that come along every once in a while to rivet large TV audiences. Among other channels, CNN-owned HLN (formerly Headline News) has been scoring record ratings for its coverage of the proceedings, according to THR.

On Tuesday, Anthony — on trial for the murder of her 2 year-old daughter, Caylee — was acquitted on all murder charges.

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