Here's what I learned pretty much on the first day of my high-school radio broadcasting class: The microphone is always on.
Of course, not always, but if you don't act like it is when it's not, time will come when you think it's not but it is. And $%&* me if generations of actual broadcasters have found themselves eating government cheese in a van down by the river after forgetting that simple rule.
The other thing I learned shortly thereafter at the voice of Baton Rouge High, WBRH, is that when you try to bleep stuff on the fly, a certain percentage of the time, it doesn't work out. Have you ever heard the version of Pink Floyd's "Money" where the "bull" gets bleeped but the "s***" doesn't?
I have. Praise be that one wasn't actually my fault. I was to blame for various other transgressions.
SO NOW we have the world of cable "news," where entertainment trumps all and former pols and present ink-stained wretches take to the airwaves because that's what all the cool kids do. And the pay ain't horrible, either.
It was only a matter of time before the guy from Time, Mark Halperin, decided to be the coolest of the cool kids by calling the president a d*** on national TV. He thought the seven-second delay would allow him to engage in safe-badassery.
Of course, the condom tore . . . er, the brand-new producer couldn't find the "dump" button.
AND THAT "cool kid" from Time? They got him on the rag, rag.
Shove that up your royal Timese machine