CNN's Daryn Kagan said it was a computer glitch, not a staffer's editorial comment, that caused a big, black X to appear briefly over the face of Vice President Dick Cheney during its coverage of his speech Monday about the War in Iraq.
Saying the glitch was being blogged into a conspiracy theory, the company took a couple of minutes on air to explain what happened and pledge to take steps to prevent a repeat.
"Upon seeing this unfortunate but very brief graphic, CNN senior management immediately investigated," the company said in a statement that was shown on air. "We concluded this was a technological malfunction not an issue of operator error. A portion of the switcher experienced a momentary glitch. We obviously regret that it happened and are working on the equipment to ensure it is not repeated."
The X was a computer placesaver for the CNN logo as the network was readying the graphic switch from the VP to an anchor. That cue is not supposed to make it to air, but did, a network tech exec explained to Kagan.
A CNN spokewoman said the network was considering a number of steps to fix the glitch, including more regular reboots of the computer switcher.