Kyra Phillips, anchor of CNN’s “Live From...,” unwittingly upstaged President Bush’s speech in New Orleans with on-the-air analysis of her husband and the marriage of her brother — all live from a CNN ladies room.
Unaware that her wireless microphone was “live” during her break, Phillips could be heard overriding Bush’s prepared address Tuesday as he was seen marking the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
The Atlanta-based Phillips, in conversation with an unidentified woman in an echoey room, dismissed most men with a vulgar term, but called herself “very lucky in that regard. My husband is handsome and he is genuinely a loving — you know, no ego — you know what I’m saying? Just a really passionate, compassionate, great, great human being. And they exist. They do exist. They’re hard to find. Yup. But they are out there.”
A few moments later, she observed that “brothers have to be, you know, protective. Except for mine. I’ve got to be protective of him.”
Why? “His wife is just a control freak.”
At that point, another voice cut in: “Kyra.”
“Yeah, baby?” replied Phillips on hearing her name.
“Your mike is on. Turn it off. It’s been on the air.”
CNN anchor Daryn Kagan, looking flustered, then broke into the telecast with a recap of what Bush had been saying.
Phillips later apologized to viewers “for an issue we had with our mikes” and “for a little bit of an interruption there during the president.”
CNN issued its own official statement, explaining the network had “experienced audio difficulties during the president’s speech today in New Orleans. We apologize to our viewers and the president for the disruption.”
In a subsequent statement, CNN explained the mishap as “a technical malfunction with the audio board. We’re addressing how this happened and why it was not more promptly corrected on air.”