News anchor Kyla Galer hit the streets to report on Hurricane Ian for local affiliate NBC2 — but it was the condom stretched over the microphone she carried that suddenly became the news.
Chris Beasley, program director at ESPN of Southwest Florida, noticed the latex in a live shot — so he took a screenshot and shared it, asking, “Ummm … what is that in the tip of the microphone?”
Ummm… what is that in the tip of the microphone? pic.twitter.com/Cqyv5CApbY
— Chris Beasley (@ChrisinSWFL) September 27, 2022
“We gotta protect our gear at all costs,” Galer replied, sharing a laughing emoji and a grimacing emoji along with the comment.
Jeff Butera, anchor at Fort Myers affiliate ABC7, shared a photo that supported Galer’s position.
“**WE PRACTICE SAFE HURRICANE REPORTING**” he tweeted, adding, “Yes, it’s a condom. Nothing better to waterproof a microphone. My Waterman Broadcasting colleague @kylagaler has been fielding lots of questions, haha. Moment of levity in this nasty storm … #HurricaneIan.”
** WE PRACTICE SAFE HURRICANE REPORTING **
Yes, it's a condom.
Nothing better to waterproof a microphone.
My Waterman Broadcasting colleague @kylagaler has been fielding lots of questions, haha.
— Jeff Butera (@ABC7Jeff) September 28, 2022
Galer apparently received so many questions about the condom wrapped around her microphone that she recorded a Public Service Announcement defending the practice — which, as several others noted on Twitter, is an industry standard.
Florida reporter defends putting condom on mic during Hurricane Ian broadcast pic.twitter.com/s4txv1BLhx
— HARD FACTOR (@HardFactorNews) September 28, 2022
“A lot of people are asking what is on my microphone,” Galer said, pointing to the condom. “It is what you think it is. It’s a condom. It helps protect the gear. We can’t get these mics wet, there’s a lot of wind, there’s a lot of rain, so we gotta do what we gotta do — and that is, put a condom on the microphone.”
“This is not a new thing. Hurricane crews have been doing this for years,” Nick Ponton explained. “They use condoms to keep all sorts of things dry. Her mistake was not putting a windscreen over it to hide the fact they were doing it.”
And reporters are not the only ones who have used condoms to protect equipment of a less personal nature. During World War II, demolitions experts used them to carry and protect fuses to keep them from getting wet. As recently as the Vietnam War, soldiers used them to cover the open ends of rifle barrels, protecting them from filling with mud and other debris. In a pinch, a condom could even be used as a “field-expedient canteen.”