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WCBS reporter fired for obscenity


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WCBS reporter fired for obscenity



May 20, 2005

A WCBS/2 reporter was fired Thursday after he used an obscenity on live television while delivering a report on MetroCard swiping as he was harassed by people behind.

Arthur Chi'en made the remarks shortly after 6 a.m. as he stood at the 57th Street station in midtown and two passersby stood behind him, holding up a sign for the Opie & Anthony satellite radio show.

The larger of the two men made an obscene gesture. Chi'en stayed composed for several seconds as they appeared to taunt him, but then the reporter asked them what they were doing, using an obscenity.

To viewers, it seemed that Chi'en thought the broadcast was going to a prepared segment at that moment. But it did not and the remarks were caught live.

"I really do regret the whole thing and I apologize if I offended anybody," Chi'en said in an interview Thursday night. He declined to comment further.

A station spokeswoman, Audrey Pass, said last night that Chi'en had been dismissed. Other than confirming his firing, Pass would only provide a prepared statement: "WCBS-TV apologizes for the use of inappropriate language today during our 6 a.m. broadcast. We deeply regret the incident."

Chi'en, a general assignment reporter who covered the South Asia tsunami for the station, had worked at WFXT-TV in Boston and at NY1.

Chi'en's report Thursday morning concerned an MTA crackdown on MetroCard swiping -- the illegal process of selling commuters passage into the subway with doctored or unlimited cards.

Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.


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