FRANKFORT, Ky. - It is a recurring nightmare for many in the pandemic era - unintentionally having your computer unmuted during a remote work meeting and saying something extremely inappropriate or embarrassing.
That nightmare became a reality for state Sen. Denise Harper Angel, D-Louisville, on Wednesday when she swore at her husband in an argument that was inadvertently shared with a Kentucky Senate committee on a livestream for all of the public to hear.
"You made me miss roll call… because I couldn't unmute, because you were f---ing cussing," Harper Angel was heard saying in the committee meeting, drawing suppressed laughs from the committee audience and the senator testifying for his bill.
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After a voice is heard arguing with her in the background, Harper Angel sternly said "shut up!" - at which point there was no more audio from her feed and the meeting continued.
In a statement tweeted later that afternoon, the five-term senator confirmed the voice heard was her, saying it was unfortunate "a private moment between my husband and I was accidentally shared when I thought my computer was on mute."
"All couples have disagreements," Harper Angel said. "The stress of wearing many different hats, combined with an ongoing pandemic, manifested when I had trouble accessing zoom. This was a personal moment not meant for public broadcast, and I hope everyone will respect that."
The video clip garnered not just laughs on social media, but also sympathy from some who have feared succumbing to a muting error and sharing an embarrassing moment in a virtual work meeting.
"Zoom has invited all of us into each other's homes," tweeted Louisville poet Hannah Drake. "We are in a pandemic, many of us on edge, tempers can flare, and we just hope they aren't caught live. I say this for Dems and Reps. We ALL have been there and are thankful we were muted."
The Legislative Research Committee quickly pulled the video of the committee meeting from YouTube. An LRC spokesman later told The Courier Journal the video would later be reposted, adding that "as part of our normal protocol, we are removing an audio interruption that was unrelated to the substance of the meeting."
An archived video of the meeting on KET's website deleted the portion of the meeting where Harper Angel is heard arguing with her husband.
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This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Kentucky senator has salty Zoom mishap in committee meeting