You'll remember the name Steve Driehaus from several stories on this site. Driehaus is the former Ohio Rep. who tried to have pro-life billboards singling him out censored during last fall's election season. After losing in November to GOP challenger Steve Chabot, Driehaus recently announced plans to accept a position with the Peace Corps. And during a March-31 story about the decision on local station WLWT, one of the station's anchors was caught mocking Driehaus for the move and for losing the election.
After introducing the story, anchor Sheree Paolello can be heard imitating a man's voice, pretending to be Driehaus during the opening moments of the reporter's recorded piece.
“I’m completely depressed that I’m joining the Peace Corps.,” Paolello is heard saying. “How did I lose to Steve Chabot and -- ." Her mic is cut at that point:
According to TVNewser, Paolello issued an apology to viewers via e-mail, blaming it on a baseball game, and revealed she called Driehaus to apologize:
I am very sorry for my comments the other night. You have no idea how badly I feel. I spent the morning at Opening Day and was in a loose and joking mood. I knew that Mr. Driehaus was going into the Peace Corp but had not seen his appearance until the footage popped up. My attempt at joking around about his beard was inappropriate and unprofessional. I can tell you that I was in no way trying to be disrespectful to the Peace Corp, Mr. Driehaus, or his years of service. I immediately contacted him by phone to express my deepest apology which he graciously accepted. I’m not sure why I made that comment because it honestly does not reflect who I am or how serious I take my job and responsibilities. I spend countless hours of my personal time volunteering for charities, helping local families, and supporting as many local events as time permits. I’m sorry I let you, my staff and myself down. I hope you will accept my sincerest apology and consider watching News 5 in the future. Thank you for your honesty and email.
As TVNewser says, the apology does seem odd: nowhere in the audio can Paolello be heard joking about Driehaus's beard. Perhaps the joking extended beyond the audio the audience heard.