Now that a week has passed since the viral proliferation of novice ABC News Now correspondent Merry Miller's inept interrogation of infinitely patient actress Holly Hunter, ABC is finally ready to share in the laughter enjoyed by untold millions of YouTube viewers, today running a lengthy explanation of the circumstances that transformed a simple satellite chat into (in their words) The Interview Seen Around the World. (We've helpfully re-embedded the clip above so that you can refresh your memory.) The fun began when Miller's ear piece, which normally would allow her to digest each of her subject's carefully considered words on how she came to play such an interesting character and respond with a thoughtful follow-up recognizing the scarcity of good roles for actresses of a certain age, failed:
Unfortunately for Miller and unknown to the crew, her IFB failed before she began speaking with Hunter. Another host might have known to alert the crew about the problem and delay the interview while the technical issues were worked out, but the inexperienced Miller gamely tried to speak with Hunter without hearing her responses.
"I couldn't hear her, and it's very hard to talk to somebody like that," Miller said. "I give credit to Holly Hunter. She was a pro, a class act. She saved the interview."
The technical problem explains the awkward delays and stumbled speaking but doesn't shed light on the most talked-about part of the interview, when Miller directed viewers to another news network's Web site for further coverage.
"It was just a blooper, it happens. Why do football players fumble sometimes? It was a disaster," she said of the network misidentification.
The article offers no mention for the off-camera, despair-tinged yelp that can be heard (turn up your speakers) immediately following the NBC blooper, but we suppose that's a matter that doesn't require much explanation; after everything that went wrong in the preceding four minutes, we're lucky it wasn't the report of a producer's self-inflicted gunshot wound that was audible in the background. But with the technical details dispensed with, the ABC News Now crew offers a challenge to those who think the gig is easy:
The Miller interview has inspired many people to think that they can do a better job hosting one of our shows. If you'd like to give it a shot, log on to www.abcnewsnow.com (yes — that is the correct site!) and submit your audition tape for the chance to be selected as a guest host on "What's the Buzz."
Be forewarned, hopeful Buzz guest hosts: we fear that this is a trap to humiliate haughty viewers who don't properly value the skills necessary to ask celebrities probing questions about their latest projects. Expect that any on-air opportunity will involve the precisely timed failures of satellite uplinks and IFB's, leaving you to flail in the same terrifying silence that's made Miller's internet-famous.