Those old enough to remember the “Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which aired in the 1970s, might remember the character of Ted Baxter, the bumbling news anchor at a small Minnesota TV station who in one episode met his idol, Walter Cronkite. “So, Walt,” Baxter asked Baxter jovially, “which words do you have trouble pronouncing?”
Which words MSNBC on-air “talent” Al Sharpton has trouble pronouncing became clear on Monday. The challenge, The Blaze reports, was to deride the National Rifle Association for its alleged celebrity “enemies list,” which unfortunately contained a couple of tongue twisters. In the audio, which follows, Sharpton can be heard mispronouncing Fran Drescher’s surname (as “DRY-shur”), but the real show-stopper is his attempt at Sigourney Weaver’s first name, which he serves up as “SIG-uh-noy.”
No offense is intended here, but Sharpton is a member of a culture that has an abiding fondness for unusual names, often spelled in a manner that defies the conventions of English phonographemics. Witness Montrezl Harrell, a power forward for the Louisville Cardinals, the “l” in whose name is silent, or former New York Giant/Philadelphia Eagle Sinorice (“sih-NOR-uhs”) Moss.
One might expect Sharpton’s radar to be especially keen on this point.
Then again, no one ever said professional broadcasting was easy.
Howard Portnoy has written for HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.
More by Howard Portnoy
Don't miss out. Send us your email address, and we'll make sure you don't miss a thing.