WLWT anchor Sheree Paolello has apologized for a hot mic gaffe that occurred a couple of weeks ago in which she mocked former Ohio congressman Steve Driehaus during a segment about his future plans following a loss in last November’s election.
The Cincinnati NBC-affiliate was airing a report on Driehaus’s decision to accept a position with the Peace Corps. as director of HIV and AIDS education and move his family to South Africa when the segment’s audio was abruptly swapped out for Paolello’s live mic, catching her impersonating Driehaus.
“I’m completely depressed that I’m joining the Peace Corps.,” Paolello is heard saying, over footage of WLWT’s interview with Driehaus. “How did I lose to Steve Chabot and –” (at which point the station, and Paolello, realized the mistake and went back to the correct audio).
In an email sent to a viewer, and CCed to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Paolello apologized for her remarks, saying that she was in a “joking mood” after spending the morning at the Reds’ first game of the season:
I am very sorry for my comments the other night. You have no idea how badly I feel. I spent the morning at Opening Day and was in a loose and joking mood. I knew that Mr. Driehaus was going into the Peace Corp but had not seen his appearance until the footage popped up. My attempt at joking around about his beard was inappropriate and unprofessional. I can tell you that I was in no way trying to be disrespectful to the Peace Corp, Mr. Driehaus, or his years of service. I immediately contacted him by phone to express my deepest apology which he graciously accepted. I’m not sure why I made that comment because it honestly does not reflect who I am or how serious I take my job and responsibilities. I spend countless hours of my personal time volunteering for charities, helping local families, and supporting as many local events as time permits. I’m sorry I let you, my staff and myself down. I hope you will accept my sincerest apology and consider watching News 5 in the future. Thank you for your honesty and email.
Paolello’s mention here of “joking around about his beard” is odd because, based on the above YouTube clip, she didn’t mention his beard. Perhaps the veteran anchor has again been tripped up by her words.