'Go balloons! Go balloons!'

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Don Mischer apologizes for and explains his unexpected starring role on CNN the last night of the Democratic convention. He is the convention producer whose plaintive, then exasperated f-word pleas for 100,000 balloons to be cut loose from the ceiling got mistakenly broadcast for several minutes. From John Horn and Elaine Dutka in today's Times:

As the producer of the Democratic National Convention, Don Mischer had predicted that Thursday night's balloon drop celebrating the nominations of Sens. John F. Kerry and John Edwards would be memorable. Mischer got his wish but hardly for the reasons he intended.

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"Jesus, we need more balloons," Mischer was heard to say. "I want all balloons to go. No confetti. No confetti. No confetti. I want more balloons. What's happening to the balloons? All balloons where the hell there's nothing falling. What the ---- are you guys doing up there?"

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer immediately apologized for broadcasting the remarks. Mischer said from his Los Angeles home Friday that he was equally contrite.

"I feel terrible about it, and I deeply apologize to anyone I might have offended," Mischer said in an interview.

Actually, I didn't think CNN's reaction was all that swift. Mischer's voice was allowed to go on and on without explanation, and the network even ran a crawl at the bottom of the screen identifying him.


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