US anchorwoman left red-faced after toilet conversation is aired

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The Independent US

The 24-hour news network CNN apologised yesterday for "audio difficulties" that led to a female presenter's bathroom conversation being aired during a live broadcast of a speech by President George Bush from New Orleans to mark the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Viewers of Live From were unexpectedly distracted when Mr Bush's address became intermingled with a conversation between the CNN anchorwoman Kyra Phillips and an unidentified woman.

The network explained Ms Phillips had accidentally left her microphone on as she took some kind of bathroom or hair and make-up break. The conversation lasted about 90 seconds and, after a muffled start, became increasingly impossible to ignore.

If there were red faces at CNN, no one would have been more embarrassed than Ms Phillips, who was first heard uttering "asshole", apparently in reference to a man. She then spoke of her own husband in entirely more flattering terms.

"Yeah, I'm very lucky in that regard with my husband. My husband is handsome and he is genuinely a loving, you know, no ego... you know what I'm saying," she was heard telling the other woman. "Just a really passionate, compassionate, great, great human being. And they exist. They do exist. They're hard to find... But they are out there."

Less happily, however, Ms Phillips discussed how protective brothers can be of their siblings, before noting that in her case it was her brother who needed protection, apparently because of his wife, who she described as a "control freak" .

"I've got to be protective of him," she said. "He's married, three kids and his wife is just a control freak."

Shortly afterwards, another woman is heard informing Ms Phillips that her microphone is on and that she should turn it off before the sound was switched back to the President's address.