Unfortunate audio glitch during Dr David Clark's speech picked up by international media

First, Health Minister Dr David Clark courted international media attention for his infamous beach trip during lockdown, now he's in the headlines overseas after what looks to be an unfortunate audio glitch during one of his speeches.

Dr Clark announced on Wednesday that up to 50 people would be able to attend funerals and tangihanga if the funeral directors registered the service with the Ministry of Health and had adequate health and safety measures in place. It was a change in policy for the Government, which previously limited such gatherings to ten people.

While the announcement was positively received by funeral directors and families of those who recently died, Dr Clark's speech has picked up international traction for something not of his own making.

At about 23:53 in the RNZ livestream of his speech found below, Dr Clark is speaking about second waves of infection "just as countries were getting on top of the virus, like we are now".

However, what appears to be a slight audio glitch in the livestream cuts off the end of the word "countries", making it sound like Dr Clark had just dropped the c-bomb. Immediately following that, the vision shifts slightly and the insert which typically shows the sign language interpreter disappears. 

The glitch becomes even clearer if you compare the RNZ livestream to others broadcasting the exact same speech, including TVNZ's and Newshub's. They show Dr Clark did say the full word - "countries". 

Unfortunately for Dr Clark, glitches are regularly seized upon by people on social media, with a clip of the livestream shared by comedian Tim Batt receiving thousands of likes and retweets. 

"This is completely unedited footage of the New Zealand Health Minister. Seriously," Batt said.

"A defining cultural moment for this nation."

"Obviously he was saying countries and missed," one user replied.

"I just snort-laughed and scared my dog," another said.

"I’m bookmarking this and when I feel down, this will move me to hysterics and cheer me up again."

However, other users did point out the tiny glitch.

International media and websites have now picked up on the moment. Most notably, LadBible, a haven of social media fails and oddities, shared it.

"Anyone tuning into the New Zealand Health Minister's press conference yesterday might have had a rude shock," that story began.

MSN used an Evening Standard version of the story, while an assortment of other sites with tabloid-like stories also told their audiences of the awkward glitch.

"Viewers watching New Zealand's Health Minister providing a COVID-19 update yesterday were left in shock when he appeared to drop the c-word during a press conference," outlet Tyla said.

"And nope, we're not talking about the word 'coronavirus'."

Many also made mention of what Dr Clark may have previously been best-known for internationally. 

"At least [the glitch is] not going to be the biggest issue that Dr Clark has endured during the pandemic," LadBible said.

Dr Clark was demoted to the bottom of the Cabinet rankings in April and stripped of his Associate Finance Minister role after taking a trip to the beach with his family while Kiwis were instructed to stay at their homes during the lockdown. He previously got caught at a mountain biking track as well.