News anchors who were really creepy on live TV
Cronkite. Brokaw. Burgundy. News anchors used to occupy some seriously rarefied air in our culture. No matter how bad things got, as long as they were behind that desk, all would be well in the world. But these days, our noble newsfolk seem to be dropping like flies.
With the #metoo movement in full swing, some of our favorite media personalities have been outed as skirt-chasing, loofah-loving, locking your office door with a button in your desk-having freaks. Then again, when you look more closely, maybe it shouldn’t come as a total shock. Honestly, what kind of weirdo comes up with the name Wolf Blitzer, anyway? Here are just a few of the many times our favorite casters of news have gone full creep on the air.
Matt Lauer scolds Anne Hathaway for paparazzi stealing nude pictures of her
We all know Matt Lauer is a creep, but back in 2012 he was still one of the most beloved names in news. Folks spent their mornings trying to figure out where in the world he was, not who in the world he was sexually harassing.
That may be why he was given such a benefit of the doubt when he ambushed Anne Hathaway during an interview on “The Today Show,” bringing up a salacious photograph that had been making the rounds, and making sure she knew he’d taken a good, long look at it. With a condescending tone that seemed to imply she was somehow at fault for the unfortunate upskirt pic, Lauer seemed to be asking for an apology from her.
It’s baffling, until you realize this early morning icon was using the show’s staff as his own personal all-you-can-creep buffet. Stay classy, Matt Lauer.
Local meteorologist bombs joke about anchor's sex life
If scientists ever needed to study the absolute absence of sound, the reaction to Madison, Wisconsin, meteorologist Charlie Shortino’s unfortunate sex joke, live on the NBC-15 airwaves, might be a good place to start.
Back in 2016, during a “Pet of the Week” segment, host Christine Bellport really seemed to bond with an adorable pup, trading kisses. Shortino, unable to let the segment go by without a wisecrack, told the two to get a room. Okay, not the best, but if he’d just plowed ahead with the dang weather, all might have been forgiven.
But, oh no, Shortino saw his chance, and for some inexplicable reason, laid into his coworker’s sex life with a oddly vicious jab. It did not go over well. Shortino should just be grateful they weren’t doing their “Crickets of the Week” segment next. Stay classy, Charlie Shortino.
Pierre McGuire jokes about reporter's 'long stick'
Sometimes being creepy takes a village. Your director, for telling you to really scooch up on your fellow reporter during a live hit, making it as awkward as possible. Your fellow reporter, for blurting out the perfect setup to a joke so stupid, so juvenile, there’s no way you can resist blurting it out. And you, for having the sense of humor of an 11-year-old class clown.
So, when sportscaster Darren Dutchyshen made the mistake of mentioning that NHL defenseman Hal Gill had a “long stick,” well, you can literally see NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire’s eyes light up with glee, muttering, “You’re an announcer with a long stick from time to time.” It’s really the “from time to time” that makes the skin crawl, as if Pierre keeps track of his coworker’s ebbs and flows. Stay classy, Pierre McGuire.
Chris Matthews jokes about drugging Hillary Clinton
This wasn’t on the air, unless you had access to the MSNBC live feed, but “Hardball” host Chris Matthews should probably still have known that joking about drugging a presidential candidate probably wasn’t comedy gold.
And he didn’t just threaten 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton with any old drug. Oh no, Matthews wanted to get his hands on a “Bill Cosby pill” because nothing’s funnier than threatening to drug the first female candidate to secure a major party’s nomination with a drug that a former family favorite comedian allegedly used to sexually assault dozens of women. In a word, hilarious. In two, not hilarious. Stay classy, Chris Matthews.
Jesse Watters makes sex joke about Ivanka Trump
Here’s a tip for Jesse Watters, Fox News’ frat boy pundit, who somehow turned a gig making racists jokes for “The O’Reilly Factor” into an actual career as a newscaster. When you’re going on a diatribe about respecting women, maybe don’t end it with a blowjob joke. Not really sticking the landing of your feminism screed when you make a sex joke too dumb for a junior high health class.
Watters, a smirk that wished on a star to become a real boy, denied his comment about Ivanka Trump’s ability to hold a microphone was crude, instead claiming he was celebrating how her voice sounded like a “smooth jazz radio DJ.” Uh-huh. Stay classy, Jesse Watters.
Greg Kelly really likes seeing his co-worker in a bikini
Some guys just can’t take the hint. Over and over and over again. Take “Good Morning New York” anchor Greg Kelly, who was repeatedly scolded by his co-anchor for ogling reporter Anna Gilligan on the air, and just didn’t seem to care.
Gilligan, reporting in a bathing suit from a local water park, was just trying to get through the segment with her dignity intact, but Kelly was determined to make sure that wouldn’t happen. Apparently having never seen a girl in a bikini before, Kelly made sure everyone knew he was a fan, dragging the segment on with awkward chit-chat so he could store the visual for later. Stay classy, Greg Kelly.
Even Steve Edwards admits he was creepy when he asked to see co-host in her bra
According to Variety, Steve Edwards, the longtime “Good Day LA” host, was fired in December 2017 after sexual harassment allegations were made against him. Considering the show’s bawdy vibe, which saw an ever-revolving door of young, hot co-hosts for the elderly anchor to flirt with, it shouldn’t come as much of a shock.
If one on-air incident from 2016 is any indication, things behind the scenes must have been a real treat for the ladies of the show. Combining his general creepiness with the air of a befuddled old man, Edwards tried to turn his co-host Araksya Karapetyan’s offer to model a $15,000 jacket into a chance to see her in her bra. Unsurprisingly, Karapetyan was having none of it. Stay classy, Steve Edwards.
Glenn Beck asks his guest if she'll pose nude for him … as a joke?
Glenn Beck is known for a lot of things — spinning conspiracy theories, crying on the air, and generally being too crazy for even Fox News — and yet few seem to remember when he straight-up asked if he could see one of his guests naked.
Us Weekly reporter Dina Sansing was on his “Headline News” program to discuss nude pictures of “American Idol” contestant Antonella Barba because not every story can be about Barack Obama destroying freedom. While the pundit was probably counting on some graphic details coming up, there’s no way she could have known Beck would offer to help her make some racy pictures of her own. But that’s exactly what happened, when the “Headline” host decided to blurt out a juvenile joke that would probably get him fired today. Stay classy, Glenn Beck.
Reporter Sam Rubin smells Selena Gomez for some reason
Sometimes being creepy just sneaks up on you. You’re there, doing the same old interview with the same old starlet you’ve done countless times, when you catch a glimpse in the monitor and realize, uh-oh, this is getting weird.
Still, good rule of thumb: Never ask if you can smell your guest. Just don’t do it. It might make sense in your head, but there are cameras on, recording this. It’s not going to look good. You’re a middle-aged man. She’s a beautiful young star.
And, if you do ask, think about how close you want to get in there. You can smell that hint of raspberry from a couple feet away, right? You don’t need to get so close that her hair could get stuck in your teeth. This isn’t a first date, it’s a press junket for a cash grab, crappy perfume. You’re better than this. Probably. Maybe not. Who knows? Anyway, stay classy, Sam Rubin.
Steve Doocy leads all-male panel determining what women should be allowed to wear
You have to wonder if the big brains over at Fox News ever think about running their segment ideas past someone who isn’t a complete misogynist before putting them on the air. Thankfully, for those who enjoy a good “Fox & Friends” hate-watch, that doesn’t seem to be part of the process.
That’s how you get a segment in which dapper dope Steve Doocy welcomes an all-male panel to ogle women in leggings and then asks them if they’d be comfortable allowing the women in their lives to “parade” around in them.
Whew. It’s like a turducken of revolting ideas. If you’ve ever wanted to hear “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson’s thoughts on what women should be allowed to wear in public, or watch Fox News legal analyst Arthur Aidala leer at young models, you’re in luck. This “news” program has your back. The only way this segment could be worse is if they called all the models Offred. Stay classy, Steve Doocy. Stay classy, Fox News.
Shep Smith tells his viewers they're all going to die
There’s nothing more reassuring than a news anchor informing his viewers that they and everyone they love are about to die, and yet that’s exactly what Shepard Smith did as Hurricane Matthew barreled toward the Florida coast back in 2016.
With his trademark sass, the Fox News host let his viewers know that if the hurricane were to move 20 miles to the west, “you and everyone you know are dead.” And, just in case the viewers weren’t terrified enough, he made sure to explain that “your kids die, too.”
And, just to up the near-sociopathic level of dark humor, good ole Shep told his viewers to get out of Florida because if too many of them died, he’d have work overtime and miss a wedding he was looking forward to. Stay classy, Shep Smith.
Joe Scarborough enjoys telling Mike Brzezinski what furries are a bit too much
There’s no shame in knowing the intimate details of a bedroom proclivity or two, but when you’re live on the air, and you have to explain them to your co-host and future fiance, well, things can get kind of creepy.
That’s what happened to “Morning Joe’s” eponymous Joe Scarborough, who found himself having to explain exactly what a “furry” was when co-host Mika Brzezinski stumbled through a story about one of their conventions and realized she had no idea what she was talking about.
Looking like a full furry in his favorite Cheshire Cat costume, a grinning Scarborough took unreserved glee in sharing what those convention-goers got out of wearing their costumes, leaving Brzezinski to flee the set in laughter. Stay classy, Joe Scarborough.