Mike Shannon, the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals on KMOX, added another feather to his cap on Saturday when he went off-script during an ad read for the Explore St. Louis website. The copy about glass-blowing brought to mind another activity.
Even in today’s hypersensitive world, the 78-year-old’s improv didn’t quite rise to the level of deep, personal outrage from the masses. Shannon’s bosses also rushed to his defense with a somewhat dubious explanation.
Cardinals senior vice president of sales and marketing Dan Farrell, who oversees the team’s broadcast operations, said the club considers Shannon’s remark an unintentional slip of the tongue.
“Our announcers read anywhere from 15-20 pieces of promotional copy on any given broadcast, and there are times when they may ad-lib to a certain extent” to make the commercials more conversational, Farrell said.
“We apologize for any misunderstanding. It’s unfortunate if anyone was offended. It does not (represent) the values of the franchise. Explore St. Louis is an important partner of ours and the Third Degree Glass Factory is a great St. Louis attraction.”
Would that we all had superiors so eager to back us up under the guise of artistic expression.
Perhaps the best part of this incident is seeing the myriad of ways in which outlets chose to describe Shannon’s exact words. Did they spell it out? Shorten to BJ? Describe it vaguely?
These are the tough editorials decisions journalists face every day.
At the St. Louis Dispatch, it appears the act was initially described as a “euphemism,” necessitating a terrific editor’s note.
Impressive commitment to truth-telling there. One wonders if an angry reader brought this to their attention and what could possibly be going on in that person’s personal life.