Move over Ron Burgundy.
A Springfield Anchor made a comment while moderating a debate that raised some eyebrows.
Of course her excuse was, she just read what was in the prompter.
The Illinois Observer says that the GOP gubernatorial debate in Springfield on Tuesday was marred by a tactless comment by the debate’s moderator aimed at Treasurer Dan Rutherford.
Liz Foster, who moderated the WICS/ABC Channel 20 debate at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, closed the first segment of the debate with a thinly veiled reference to Rutherford’s legal problems, which include a sexual harassment charge by a now former male employee.
Closing the debate’s first round, Foster said to the TV and hall audience, “…But there’s much more to come. Where do they four men stand on taxes, state jobs, and the skeletons in their closest. Stay with us. We’ll be right back.”
The comment drew laughter from the audience in the hall, a half-apology from Foster to Rutherford, and disbelief from the journalists on the panel: Alex Degman, WTAX radio; Vince Dementri, WICS/ABC TV; and Bernie Schoenburg, State Journal-Register.
Blueroomstream.com, which was live streaming the broadcast, picked up the reaction of the journalists.
Foster to Rutherford: “I didn’t write. I just read it. Good to see you.”
Schoenburg: “If it bleeds, it leads.”
Journalist: “That’s a tease for sure.”
Journalist: “Oh, boy. She could get away with saying that.”
Schoenburg: “Why did we do that?”
Journalist: “Liz might become the story tonight. Jesus.”
Journalist: “Why would Liz become the story?”
Journalist: “For what she just said.”
Journalist: “She didn’t write that did she?”
Journalist: “No. Does it matter?”
Journalist: “No. I guess not.”
Schoenburg: “Skeletons is a little rough.”
During the intermission of the second round one of the journalists warned his colleagues about the live streaming.
“I got a text to remind me that we’re streaming live on Blueroomstream,” said one of the panelists.
In his final statement of the debate, Rutherford said, “I’ve seen Illinois now at the worst blood sport as I’ve ever seen. It’s not easy to stand up here now.”
No, it’s not.