There’s long been a bit of a rivalry between members of the print and TV media over who can get the story first, and do it best. But most print reporters, whether they admit it or not, give mad props to their friends in journalism who have to speak the news on camera, requiring they know how to precisely pronounce names, avoid clumsy “ums” and keep a straight face whether the subject is harrowing or hilarious.

Most of us print reporters couldn’t do it on our best day, and journalists such as WPSD Local 6’s Robert Bradfield do it flawlessly just about every day. That’s why, in the spirit of that friendly rivalry, I thought it would be appropriate to post this video of Bradfield, anchoring the news one particular day, just totally losing it as he discovers the disabled pig he’s reading a story about at the end of the newscast is named “Chris P. Bacon.”

It’s one of the most hilarious news blooper clips I’ve ever seen, and apparently many others agree. The clip of Bradfield wheezing with laughter to the point he can’t talk went viral after it first aired during WPSD’s 9 p.m. newscast in February 2014.

Last week, it got a second wind as it was reposted on Reddit, a popular social networking site. I first saw the video when a friend of mine in Raleigh, North Carolina, posted it on her Facebook page this week.

As for Bradfield, who started at WPSD in 2010 and is presently the station’s evening anchor and reporter based in Paducah, he’s handling the whole thing with a great sense of humor and grace. Bradfield said of the day he lost it on air: “At the time, I thought nothing of it — it was a random, out of character (for me) outburst at a name I was not expecting in the teleprompter.”

Bradfield said that evening, he had not pre-read the kicker — what they call in the business a light-hearted story at the end of newscasts. As he was reading on the air, he noticed the name as “Chris P. Bacon” (that sounds like crispy bacon, if you haven’t already figured it out).

When it came time for him to say the name, Bradfield said he hesitated for a moment to make sure it was right. “We have monitors below the teleprompter so I was able to watch the video at the same time, and that’s when I lost it.”

“Seeing the pig and his name was a moment that got to me,” he said. Bradfield, tickled beyond the ability to function, at one point seems to ask someone else to read the clip as he’s unable to contain himself. Bradfield said he was referring to Tori Shaw — the weather anchor on set with him. But she also was laughing hysterically and could not do it.

“She was supposed to join me at the end, but all you see is me laughing as we end the broadcast,” Bradfield said.

Bradfield said he was a little concerned that the next day he might be in trouble with station management, but everyone laughed it off. It’s since been viewed millions of times around the world, and Bradfield said the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive with people thanking him for brightening their day. One fan of the clip from Orange County, California, thanked him for bringing her “so much joy.”

It’s also brought us much joy, and we hope it does our readers, too. You rarely goof up on air Robert, but when you do, you really do it the right way.

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On Twitter: @MollyParkerSI ​



Molly Parker is general assignment and investigative projects reporter for The Southern Illinoisan.

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