Once upon a recent time--in the city of Youngstown, in the state of Ohio, and in the age of the world-wide web--there dwelled a young lass named Catherine Bosley (search).
Like many another young lass of her physical and verbal endowments, fair Catherine was a local news anchor. For 10 years, she sat behind a desk and in front of a camera at WKBN-TV (search), and read to her fellow citizens the telepromptered tales of her time: of shootings and fires, of robberies and car wrecks, of city council meetings and street fairs. She introduced the sports guy, made merry with the weather guy.
Unfortunately, she journeyed last year to Key West, Fla., and there made a different kind of merry.
It seems that 10 months or so ago, fair Catherine and her husband departed the bitter climes of winter Youngstown and went to the Florida outpost on vacation. The couple’s mood was celebratory--for two reasons. One, Catherine and her mate were observing the first anniversary of their union. Two, Catherine had just recovered from “a near-fatal lung disease similar to tuberculosis.” Or so sayeth she. And she had also had open-heart surgery.
So the lass went to a bar and made a “spur-of-the-moment, silly irresponsible” decision to enter a wet T-shirt contest. That was bad enough. Worse, the contest degenerated (if, in fact, a wet T-shirt contest is elevated enough in the first place to be susceptible to degeneration) into an informal strip-tease competition. Fair Catherine partook of the challenge. She shook, she shimmied, she strutted. And she disrobed, that the shaking and shimmy and strutting might better reveal the assets beneath her garments.
Afterward, she maintains, she felt terrible. Yea, even blasphemous. “I disappointed myself...I disappointed God.” But she was about to feel even worse, for there was at the bar a knave taking pictures of the proceedings and, about two weeks ago, the photos showed up, as all things must in this day and age, on-line.
Fair Catherine was mortified. Fair Catherine was abashed. Fair Catherine was ruined. She spake as follows to her loyal subjects in Youngstown: “I know that I have to set a standard and I’m a bit of a role model, so I take responsibility for what I’m supposed to be held up to. This definitely goes down in one of those categories of ‘what was I thinking? What was I thinking?’”
But did she take responsibility? Catherine, you see, also spake this: “It was 20 to 30 minutes of my life. It didn’t hurt anybody. I didn’t do anything obscene. It was funny at the time.”
But many months later, when the photos appeared in Youngstown--in the state of Ohio, and in the age of the world-wide web--it was without the accompanying humor. Catherine resigned her position. She is no longer a WKBN-TV anchor. Someone else is bantering with the sports and weather folk these days, and Catherine’s T-shirts are as dry as a patch of the Gobi.
The damsel was aware of a certain risk at the time. She claims that she asked the bouncers at the Key West bar whether the wet T-shirt contest would be part of the “Girls Gone Wild” (search) video series, or whether pictures of the event would be distributed nationally. No, she says she was told; what occurreth here, stayeth here.
It is for this reason that fair Catherine is now conferring with a lawyer about taking legal action against the bar. As for what the future will hold, she does not know.
According to a local journalist, the deposed anchor “hopes the episode will allow her to explore other career opportunities in the community.”
The moral of the story is as follows:
If you take a vacation
And for relaxation
Decide to shake your booty,
‘Twill soon be your loss,
For back home your boss
Will be forced to do his duty.
He will tell you, to wit,
It’d be best if you quit,
That your post you should henceforth resign
For you decided to strip
On your holiday trip,
And the photos have now gone on-line.
So anchors beware,
Don’t let down your hair
Though you’re feeling exuberantly free;
For a spy may be lurking
To punish your shirking
Eric Burns is the host of Fox News Watch, which airs Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT and Sundays at 1:30 a.m. ET/10:30 p.m. PT, 6:30 a.m. ET/3:30 a.m. PT, and 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT. He is the author of several books, including The Spirits of America: A Social History of Alcohol (Temple University Press, 2003).