TV Reporter Says 'Bill Clinton' Rather Than 'Bill Cosby' While Pointing at Prison in Gaffe

The BBC apologized after a reporter mistakenly said "Bill Clinton" rather than "Bill Cosby" while reporting live on air.

Anchor Michelle Fleury was reporting on Bill Cosby's sudden release from prison after the comedian's sexual assault conviction was overturned.

Broadcasting from outside the Pennsylvania prison from which Cosby was returning to his Philadelphia-area home, Fleury mistakenly said the name of the former president while pointing at the facility.

"This has been where Bill Clinton [sic] has called home," Fleury said outside the prison, "but tonight he will sleep in his own bed after the bombshell decision to overturn his conviction of sexual assault on the grounds that his 5th Amendment rights—that is the right against self-incrimination—were violated."

BBC News confusing Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby 🥴 pic.twitter.com/RyXKBRcPo6

— benjamin tulin ☭🤌🏳️‍🌈 (@CommunistBen) June 30, 2021

When the program returned to the studio, BBC News anchor Huw Edwards acknowledged the mistake and apologized for the error.

"Just to clarify what was said there in Michelle's introduction to the story when she mistakenly said Bill Clinton instead of Bill Cosby, we apologize for the mistake," Edwards said immediately following Fleury's segment.

He added: "The story is of course is about Bill Cosby the entertainer."

Oh god pic.twitter.com/JAWHtiah1o

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) June 30, 2021

Fleury has been a BBC journalist for 23 years and usually covers American news.

The mix-up was quickly noticed on social media, and users are joking about the error, but also expressing some sympathy for the reporter.

"Oof. Huge clanger on News At Ten. Reporter said Bill Clinton when she meant Bill Cosby. Nobody who's ever done live broadcasting will feel anything but enormous sympathy," tweeted LBC Radio host James O'Brien.

Oof. Huge clanger on News At Ten. Reporter said Bill Clinton when she meant Bill Cosby. Nobody who’s ever done live broadcasting will feel anything but enormous sympathy.

— James O'Brien (@mrjamesob) June 30, 2021

While conservative pundit Darren Grimes joked: "The BBC just released 'Bill Clinton' from prison."

The BBC just released ‘Bill Clinton’ from prison 😂 pic.twitter.com/MOUQcMZSdl

— Darren Grimes (@darrengrimes_) June 30, 2021

Bill Cosby was freed from prison on Wednesday after his sexual assault conviction was overturned.

The 83-year-old served three years of a three to 10-year sentence after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled he had been denied a fair trial in 2018.

In 2018 a jury convicted him in 2018 of three aggravated indecent assault counts and he was deemed a "sexually violent predator" who posed an "imminent safety risk to women."

A message was posted on Cosby's official Twitter account after his release. He thanked those who supported him.

"I have never changed my stance nor my story," he wrote. "I have always maintained my innocence. Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law. #BillCosby."

Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby
Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby. A BBC reporter mixed the two up in a report on Bill Cosby's release from prison. Getty