Speed Reads

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News anchor who doesn't realize his mic is on curses, bashes the poor

Briefly forgetting that he was at his job as a news anchor and not at home in his recliner, News 12 the Bronx's Matt Pieper managed to turn a story about crossing guards into a diatribe against the poor.

On Wednesday, Pieper apparently thought they were at commercial and didn't realize his mic was on when he started railing against the need for crossing guards. "Parents should do their f—ing job and walk their little kids to school on their own, and not rely on everyone else," he said. "Kind of like people rely on government assistance for their entire lives."

The on-scene reporter, Amy Yensi, inexplicably replied, "I think I qualify for government assistance." After Pieper told her to "just check that box, girl," she responded, "#EBT!" The complaints quickly started rolling in to the channel's Facebook page, and soon there was a post about a "technical error" during the show. "A personal conversation between an anchor and a reporter was unintentionally placed on air," it read. "News 12 the Bronx deeply regrets that this incident took place. The remarks of these individuals in no way reflect the views of News 12 management or other News 12 personnel."

It would probably serve Pieper well to consider that the borough he covers had an average 12.7 percent unemployment rate in 2012, and the percentage of Bronx residents living in poverty rose to 30.4 percent — the highest rate of any county in New York State and the highest of any urban county in the United States. --Catherine Garcia