Dilanian appeared not to realize he was about to go on the air live, and instead of responding to Melvin’s introduction, let loose with two curse words one isn’t supposed to say during a TV news segment. Melvin steered viewers to other news stories when it became apparent Dilanian was having trouble on air.
Later in the hour, Dilanian returned. “We want to try to get back to NBC’s Ken Dilanian with breaking news,” Melvin said. “We were having technical difficulties a few moments ago. Ken has reporting on how the Trump administration is handling the transition with the Biden team, specifically with our intelligence community. Ken, what have you learned?”
“Hey, Craig. First, I want to sincerely apologize to viewers who may have heard me use profanity at the top of the last hit,” Dilanian replied. “What we’re learning today is the potential impact of the resistance of the trump administration to acknowledge the Biden win in the intelligence arena specifically.”
In a post on Twitter, Dilanian elaborated on the cause of his on-air mistake. “I was experiencing some technical difficulties and mistakenly hung up on the control room, though my mic still was on,” he explained “Perils of playing producer, cameraman and tech support all at the same time from home.”
On-air gaffes are not uncommon on live TV, where spelling errors in chyrons, various technical snafus, and on-air responses from people being interviewed live can result in elements surfacing on air that no on intended. As the coronavirus pandemic has forced more remote work by staffers at many national TV-news outlets, more obstacles have surfaced.