Is this the first casualty of high-definition widescreen? Houston news anchor Owen Conflenti flipped off his coworkers mid-broadcast, but failed to anticipate his studio's new widescreen cameras. His off-screen obscenity was broadcast to everyone in Houston with an HD-TV.
Those watching on a tradition 4:3 screen didn't see Conflenti's nonchalant gesture, but everyone using the newfangled 16:9 aspect ratio did. Neither Conflenti nor his network, KPRC, have commented on the incident, but the bird-flipping anchor seems to be hanging on to his job: He has since dispatched to Dallas to cover the Super Bowl.
On that note, why is the middle finger such a big deal? It doesn't connote a specific sex act, as gestures like the shocker, point-at-crotch-and-slap, and blowjob face do. (That last one isn't even banned on TV! Otherwise Keeping Up with the Kardashians would have to be canceled.) If toddlers gyrating in a cone bras are allowed on television, a middle finger, viewed in isolation, should be, too! Free Owen Conflenti! Free the middle finger! [TVNewser]