A local newsman exits his offices on a bright and sunny day in Syracuse, New York, and delivers the latest headlines.
He heads towards the camera but, perhaps 30 seconds in, he gets stung by a bee. Not one to brush the incident to one side, he reacts. Inevitably, it is an expletive-ridden reaction:
F***ing bee on me. A f***ing bee just bit me. A f***ing bee just stung me. Look, a f***ing bee stung me. Look, I got stung by a bee. Motherf***er!
Bizarrely, he finishes it all by asking “anybody hurt?” before returning to his mark for take two.
Yesterday I embedded a YouTube video of the clip on this blog because:
- I can’t quite leave the silly season behind even if it is no longer August
- It was very funny
But within hours of it going up, the video was removed from YouTube. Removed at the behest of Newport Television, a TV holding company which includes among the channels it runs an ABC affiliate called WSYR-TV 9, employers of anchorman Ron Wood (pictured).
It’s not the first time Newport has gone after copies of this clip on YouTube – an earlier upload has gone from this Esquire page.
Why has Newport acted in such a heavy-handed way?
Because the clip reflects badly on the news channel and its anchor? Hardly, Wood is simply reacting as many of us would. Because it is foul-mouthed? Perhaps, but nothing a little bleeping can’t sort out. Because Newport owns the rights? Surely not.
At best a clip like this raises the profile of the station and its star anchorman – it extends the reach.
At worst? Well, I’m not sure there is much of a downside. It’s hardly denting the company’s revenues. And if it really was an issue about rights, why isn’t the clip now on the WSYR-TV website?
UPDATE 5 Sep: Video has turned up again, but for how long? Enjoy it while you can: