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Cable channel fires anchor over “poor people” rant

matt-pieper-parents-should-do-their-jobsA New York cable channel has fired a news anchor after a tirade about welfare families was unintentionally broadcast on television.

News 12 The Bronx anchor Matt Pieper acknowledged on his personal Twitter account Monday that he had lost his job after he remarked that parents weren’t doing “their fucking job(s)” by walking children to school in the morning.

“Parents should do their fucking job and walk their little kids to school on their own, and not rely on everyone else,” Pieper said to a correspondent who was preparing a live report on crossing guards.

Pieper compared the parents to “people (who) rely on government assistance for their entire lives.”

The reporter, Amy Yensi, responded by saying she believed she qualified for government assistance, saying “hashtag E-B-T!” in reference to the debit card system of payment that welfare recipients use to purchase groceries and pay bills.

A copy of the interaction, which happened while the TV personalities thought they were in a commercial break, was recorded by a viewer and uploaded to YouTube.

Pieper acknowledged that his comments were “extremely unfortunate” and were unintentionally broadcast as the result of a technical error. In doing so, the news anchor blamed a staff member in the control room who asked him to relay a message to Yensi.

“Someone in the control room spoke into my earpiece and asked me to relay a message to our reporter out in the field,” Pieper wrote. “These were not my own thoughts or profanities. In relaying that information, I made a poor decision in my choice of words and for that I apologize.”

It is unclear if the reporter was also disciplined for the interaction.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).