Tuesday, September 22, 2009

News anchor's slip sparks web craze

A US news anchor who made an obscene verbal slip live on air has unwittingly spawned a viral web craze.

Ernie Arnastos, who works for Fox 5 WNYW in New York, told the station's weatherman to "keep f***ing that chicken".

In a scene reminiscent of the 2004 film Anchorman, Mr Anastos appeared oblivious to the slip, while co-presenter Dari Alexander's eyes bulged with shock.

It is believed that Mr Anastos meant to say "keep plucking that chicken", possibly meaning "persevere" or "don't give up".

However, the obscene version has taken on a life of its own. It is a regularly searched term on Twitter and Google, while T-shirts are available with the catchphrase across the chest.

The phrase has even made it into slang bible urbandictionary.com, with the definition "keep up the good work".

The Rev Al Sharpton has speculated on the meaning of the slogan.

He told the New York Times: "It could be a kind of phrase: 'Well, keep doing what you are doing. Keep going after it'. Even if you are tired or distracted, keep on doing that chicken, that kind of thing."

Mr Arnastos has since apologised for the slip while Fox 5 WNYW vice president Lew Leone said the company was "disappointed with Ernie's comment".

In the 2004 film Anchorman, a rival uses the autocue to trick news anchor Ron Burgundy, played by Will Ferrell, into replacing his usual catchphrase "stay classy, San Diego" with "go f*** yourself, San Diego".


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