Comments made by ABC News “Nightline” anchor Terry Moran have drawn the outrage of some of his co-workers. In the hours after the death of Farrah Fawcett, Moran added his thoughts to an email thread that was making its way around ABC News — a common practice when a big news story breaks. Here’s what he wrote:
One final, and perhaps very sad, note:
According to the American Cancer Society, the leading cause of anal cancer (the kind that killed Farrah Fawcett) is the human papilloma virus (HPV), the same virus that is thought to cause most cervical cancers. Twenty million Americans are currently infected with HPV, with more than six million new infections every year.
It is fair to say (and sad to say) that Farrah Fawcett, an American pin-up icon and sex symbol of the first post-sexual revolution generation, most likely died as a result of a acquiring a sexually transmitted disease.
“What I did was put out some ideas about a disease that is on the rise and I did it in a way that drew a lot of response,” Moran explained to TVNewser. “Some people were very angry. Some people were very insightful. Some were both.”
“I wanted to raise some issues about a disease and I did it in a very stupid way,” he says.
ABC News spokesman Jeffrey Schneider adds, “Terry is one of the smartest guys in the whole building. But even he can misfire occasionally. Just because someone occasionally misfires doesn’t mean we don’t want or expect a really intense discussion of whatever issue is out there.”
Moran says what he wrote today won’t keep him from interjecting in the future: “They say engineers learn far more from their mistakes than they do from their successes,” he says.