Monday, February 7, 2011

NBC Employee Fired For Reposting Of "Internet Clip" From 1994

An NBC worker who posted old footage from the "Today" show of the hosts wondering, "What is the Internet anyway?" has been fired, the network confirmed, saying the person had a history of distributing material without permission.

The footage, in which Katie Couric, Bryant Gumbel and Elizabeth Vargas try to figure out the Internet and e-mail addresses, made the rounds via said Internet last week, posted and re-posted to Facebook pages and sent via email.

Filmed in 1994, the clip features Gumbel demanding, with a befuddled expression: "What is the Internet anyway?" and Couric stumbling to define it as: "that massive computer network, the one that's becoming really big now."

In a statement, NBC confirmed it fired the employee responsible for first distributing the footage.

"The individual in question violated the company's standards of conduct by repeatedly copying and distributing a variety of materials without permission," the statement said. It was reported on media-watching websites including All Things Digital and PaidContent.

In the clip, Gumbel also complains about e-mail addresses, particularly "that little mark with the 'a' and the ring around it."

As the clip gained attention, "
Today" itself featured the footage and current host Matt Lauer laughingly noted: "We all felt that way at the time. It was a mystery to all of us."

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