Funny things can happen when you don't realize that a microphone is on.
One of the most famous may be Ronald Reagan not realizing that a microphone was broadcasting before a radio show, "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."
More recently, CNN's Kyra Phillps stepped into a bathroom with a live microphone during a speech by President Bush, seemingly calling her in-laws assholes in front of a national audience.
But this week, according to Capitol Annex, Democratic Primary hopeful and San Antonio millionaire Mikal Watts was at an Austin function followed around with a video camera. That's not so unusual in these political days, but Watts carried a wireless microphone while speaking with a number of individuals away from the camera as well.
Sources say that many people probably did not notice the relatively inconspicuous item, but a number of them also did. Was it on the entire time? Was it recording audio? Was Watts even in control of the device? Whatever the answer, it seems at least inconsiderable at best, and possibly even malicious or deceitful at worst.
Vince Leibowitz, Cap Annex:
It’s fine for a candidate to be mic’d, but it’s not good when he doesn’t disclose up front to everyone he speaks with that he’s got the mic on. This is especially important if the mic is always ‘hot’ or the candidate doesn’t control when it is turned on.