It is no great secret that your average television news anchor is not an intellectual heavyweight.

Doesn't mean they can't be intelligent. Doesn't mean that there aren't quite a few who are very smart. But their job description can usually be boiled down to:

Most of the time, the anchors are there to look good, read the news copy, and look professional. If they're smart, too? Well, that's gravy.

But in general? No, they ain't too swuft.

And that brings us to Ernie Anastos, lead anchor of New York City's WNYW. He's a very handsome man, with a full head of dark hair and a Mitt Romney smile. But he strikes me as a man whose mouth moves faster than his brain.

On November 11, 2009, Anastos was the anchor during the live evening newscast, along with his co-anchor Dari Alexander and meteorologist Nick Gregory. The following exchange took place during the crosstalk after Gregory finished his nightly weather forecast.

Anastos: "It takes a tough man to make a tender forecast, Nick."

Gregory: "Well, I guess that's me." (laughs)

Anastos: "Keep fucking that chicken." (laughs)

Gregory: (laughs) "Okay, I'll do that." (helpless shrug)

Alexander: (look of stark, wide-eyed horror)

Some claim that Anastos meant to say "plucking" and that the expression was station slang for "Keep up the good work." I think the former is extremely unlikely, but the latter is certainly within the realm of possibility. At any rate, Anastos apologized to viewers during the next day's newscast. 

I mostly hear the phrase used online, usually addressed to troublesome trolls and morons, especially those prone to epic fails, impotent rage, and shooting themseves in the foot. I also hear it applied to some real-world situations, usually politicians and other prominent media figures who've put their foot in it bad and still can't stop digging themselves deeper. The message here is "Keep it up, stupid. You think you're winning, but you'll never stop losing."

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