A television reporter in Baltimore was reportedly fired over a doctored YouTube video in which a phrase describing an escaped monkey's scrotum was spliced into a comment about U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
A video from a Fox News TV broadcast was altered to make it appear that Fox personality John Gibson said he would be discussing Holder and his scrotum. The altered video combined an innocuous comment about Holder with a separate snippet referring to an escaped monkey that was identifiable by its "bright blue scrotum."
WBAL-TV, an NBC affiliate owned by Hearst-Argyle Television Inc., issued a statement Tuesday saying a former employee posted the video on Google's YouTube site without the knowledge of the station. WBAL wouldn't name the employee or discuss the employee's departure.
But Fox News, The (Baltimore) Sun and other media outlets said it was one of the station's reporters who posted the video, and that he was fired.
In the original broadcast, one Fox commentator makes a reference to the story about the monkey - and its brightly colored body part - right before the camera cuts to Gibson. Gibson then said he would be discussing Holder and comments he made later in the show.
In the doctored version, Gibson is heard saying, "we're talking about Eric Holder today ... and his," before someone had spliced in the separate snippet of the other commentator using the phrase "bright blue scrotum." The effect is that the reference to Holder appears to flow seamlessly to the comment about the body part.
A message left seeking comment Tuesday from Holder's office and was not immediately returned.
A spokeswoman for News Corp.-owned Fox responded to a request for comment by providing an Internet link to Gibson's radio show.
Gibson said on the show Tuesday that the incident had "created a firestorm of hate mail directed at me." He also said, "You put those words in my mouth ... people are going to assume I really said it."
Gibson asked, "How do I measure that kind of harm?"
NBC is a unit of General Electric Co.