News Anchor Freak Outs Caught On Air

Anything can go wrong on live news, which means the hardest part of the job for those brave souls who sit in the anchor's chair is remaining calm and collected no matter what happens. For the most part, they do an admirable job, but occasionally their emotions get the best of them. When that happens, the results are often viral gold. Here are some of the funniest flip-outs from the anchors and hosts of TV news programs.


Before he screamed at people for all kinds of reasons on The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly screamed at the crew of Inside Edition for one very specific infraction: the teleprompter. During one of the most amazingly awkward clips in internet history, O'Reilly is clearly running late for something when the teleprompter screws up multiple times, uncorking the host's full fury and giving birth to the "F— it, we'll do it live!" meme. To his credit, O'Reilly is still able to snap right into congenial host mode when he has to, which makes him either a consummate media professional or a frightening sociopath. Either way, the clip is a classic.

Anderson Cooper calls woman dreadful, can't continue interview

Despite momentum established by the success of Anderson Cooper 360, Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show, Anderson Live, couldn't make it past two seasons. Maybe it's because the anchor and host was stretched so thin for content he was forced to interview people like Sarah "Human Barbie" Burge, who, among other things, advocated shooting botox into a 15-year-old's forehead to stop it from sweating. After trying to maintain some semblance of a dialogue with her, Cooper stops himself and says, "I honestly have nothing more to talk to you about...I try to be really polite to all my guests, I just think you're really dreadful and I honestly don't want to talk to you anymore." That's the last thing a trashy daytime talk host is supposed to do, especially with the kind of guest who could have covered topics like 'Waist-training For Third Graders' or 'Breast Implants For A Bat Mitzvah Gift.'

Whoopi Goldberg & Joy Behar walk off The View

Yep, Bill O'Reilly made the list twice—only this time, he's the one who kept his cool while Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar freaked out and walked offstage after being offended by his remarks about 9/11. To their credit, they both came back after O'Reilly clarified his statements, but it was still an epic meltdown moment for a show whose entire formula is built on people arguing for an hour with the occasional cooking segment thrown in.

Bill Maher literally shoves audience member out the door

On Real Time with Bill Maher, Bill's job as host is to discuss the highly contentious political topics of the day, so it's never a surprise when emotions run high. For the most part, the debates take place among the panel guests, but on one show, protesters from the audience were so disruptive, Bill had to intervene. After several audible shouts, he rushes into the aisle as security is removing the audience member and helps shove the offending parties out the studio door. We're guessing this is something a lot of live television hosts dream of doing at least once during every broadcast.

F--- it, I quit

After reporting on a story about a medical marijuana business in Alaska, KTVA reporter Charlo Greene resigned on the air, uttering the now famous exit line, "F— it, I quit." Revealing that she was actually the owner of the business examined in the report, Greene later admitted that her live spectacle was a ruse to increase public support of medical marijuana. Nothing changes conservative voters' minds like erratic behavior in connection with drug use, right?

Jim Ryan vs. Dick Oliver

In any live interview that features a building manager and tenant giving their sides of a contentious construction project, you'd expect one of the interviewees to be at the highest risk of a freakout. But in this clip from Good Day New York, anchor Jim Ryan tears into chief reporter Dick Oliver, saying, "I'll give you lessons on how to become a reporter later, Ollie," when Oliver stumbles over a follow-up question for the tenant. But Oliver doesn't take the comment lightly, firing back, "I'll give you lessons on how to become an editor because I was your boss once." It's an amazing peek into the dynamic of a television newsroom, and also an epic old guy fight that could only have been improved with flying applesauce or bingo chips.


Though MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell's on-camera meltdown technically wasn't broadcast live, it was immediately solidified in internet infamy for a plethora of reasons. Not only is it generally awkward to see stripped-down, out of context, pre-taped segments, but it's especially cringeworthy when the talking head breaks the broadcast veneer and literally starts throwing things in anger.

Thanks to a problematic earpiece, O'Donnell runs the gamut here from making rage faces, to swearing, to pounding the desk, and tossing objects. It's a comprehensive hissy-fit complete with composed zingers like, "Someone in that control room is out of control," and unhinged exasperations like, "It f*cking sucks to be out here!" And that's all without even mentioning the mysterious hammering, or O'Donnell's insistence that someone call MSNBC president Phil Griffin to sort it all out. But we've already set this up too much. Do yourself a favor: Just press play and enjoy.

A conscientious resignation

Former RT News anchor Liz Wahl's on-air freakout was more of a controlled demolition than an outburst, but when she quit her job live on-air, it sent shockwaves through the journalism world. Citing "moral and ethical challenges" she had working for the Russian state-controlled media company, Wahl ended her March 5, 2014, broadcast by saying, "I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin."

In response, RT News issued a statement (via BuzzFeed) that categorized Wahl's dramatic exit as "nothing more than a self-promotional stunt." But Wahl later described the environment at RT News to The Daily Beast as being suppressive and manipulative, citing the network's coverage of Russia's invasion of Crimea as the last straw for her. "It actually makes me feel sick that I worked there," Wahl said, adding, "It's not a sound news organization, not when your agenda is making America look bad."

Guess she won't be needing a reference, then?

The First Amendment and what?

It's kind of a news anchor's entire job to remain composed no matter what kind of chaos they have to report on, but one guest got the best of CNN's Brooke Baldwin with just the simple mention of ta-tas. Obviously, the context here is important, so we should say that what rankled Baldwin so much was the fact that conservative commentator Clay Travis of Fox Sports Radio brought up the female anatomy during a discussion about ESPN's suspension of SportsCenter anchor Jemele Hill.

After Travis professed his love for just two things in this world, lady lumps and the First Amendment, Baldwin basically spent the rest of the segment with her mouth hanging open, and her brow furrowed until she finally cut the segment short by saying, "I'm done ... this is conversation over, yanking mics, bye." She then commented on her own flabbergasted response by saying, "That was entirely inappropriate, and it just took me — forgive me that it took me a second." We're still left with one question: What kind of weird, Bill of Rights-themed strip clubs does Clay Travis hang out at?

Get thee behind me, Paris Hilton

Given the fact that Morning Joe co-anchors, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, have now had a public spat with the president of the United States, it may seem a bit quaint to reference the time Brzezinski had a meltdown over Paris Hilton, but her meltdown involved almost setting a fire at the anchor desk, so here it is.

Back in 2007, at the height of Paris Hilton mania, Brzezinski decided she'd had enough of mainstream news coverage of the hotel heiress turned reality star. So when producers tried to run a lead story about Hilton after three different breaks, Brzezinski remedied it by doing the following: attempting to burn the physical copy, tearing it up, then placing it in a shredder.  

Apparently it was something of a triumphant moment for Brzezinski, who later told The Guardian, "I had one woman send me an email and she told me was weeping tears of joy that someone finally took a stand." She also remarked, "I think that the reaction in the media has been the most heartening. People in the business are saying enough is enough." And it's true, since that day, the media has never spoken Paris Hilton's name.

Snakes on a set

ABC 7 anchor Terrell Brown's viral moment happened thanks to an uncooperative snake and the hysterical, feminine shriek it coaxed out of him during an animal segment gone awry. Granted, we're not here to shame a guy for getting freaked out by a giant snake that seems to be positioning itself for a face-bite while ominously curling around his body, but Brown's reaction was enough to make Time's Best News Bloopers of 2016, so we're not the only ones who appreciated it.

"I thought I was going to die, and everyone just laughed at me," Brown later said when reflecting on the inadvertent attention the clip had gotten. Yep, guilty. We all did that. In fact, let's go ahead and watch it again.

Dan Marino vs. Well, we're not really sure

This is another classic freakout à la O'Donnell and O'Reilly in the sense that it didn't air live, but became an internet sensation regardless. In the clip, everything starts out great for retired Miami Dolphins quarterback and Inside The NFL analyst Dan Marino until he flubs a line and starts punching the desk out of frustration. Seriously. 

According to Reddit and some random internet forums, this was apparently a blooper clip from the show's 30th season special, and the entire cast basically fell out laughing just after the clip ends. But if you're like us, you too choose to hold the clip as it exists in internet infamy, as the moment Marino went ballistic over practically nothing, and his co-workers retracted in fear, waiting for him to hulk out on the rest of the set. 

Chris Berman does not understand the concept of oversharing

Longtime ESPN anchor Chris Berman found himself in a bit of a pickle in 2008 when a series of unsavory off-camera clips featuring him were published on YouTube. The above clip, in which he berates the production staff for walking around while he's "doin' TV" is the one that got the most traction, and while it's an expletive-filled rant for the ages, it doesn't rise to the possible level of self-incrimination like one of the other clips. In that one, Berman seems to proudly boast about smuggling what he calls "deux-deux-deux's," or "Canadian aspirin with a little bit of codeine in it" into the U.S. He also says he took four of them earlier in the evening. Yikes.

According to Deadspin, ESPN made a concerted effort to wipe the clips from the internet and issued a statement regarding them that said, in part, that they "do not reflect his typical workplace demeanor." Oh, so he just bragged about being a drug mule that one time? Phew, for a second there we thought this was his usual water cooler banter.

Journalism 101 with professor Kate Bolduan

Since the rise of the now arguably meaningless term "fake news," cable journalism outlet CNN has particularly borne the brunt of accusations of flawed or outright false reporting. This apparently reached a boiling point for State of America anchor, Kate Bolduan, who lost her collective stuff when former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie challenged reporting that cites unnamed sources. After Higbie calls for the sources to reveal themselves, Bolduan yells, "Puh-lease! Do not even start with me that you're just going to attack sources — that is ridiculous!"

She then goes on the school Higbie in one of the most basic tenets of journalism, which is the protection of anonymous sources "so that the information that is important to the public can get out." Another panelist then calmly informs Higbie, "You're embarrassing yourself, your party, and your country. You should not be doing this. You're a better person than this. I'm ashamed for you." Wow. Someone prep the burn unit because Higbie's on his way.