A microphone gaffe, sometimes referred to as an open microphone (or open mic, for short), occurs when the microphone is turned on and the interpreter is unaware that his or her remarks are being broadcast.
The unforgiving result is that the audience hears parts of private conversations in the booth. All judgement aside, it has happened to politicians (Obama himself was once caught on hot mic saying he quit smoking because he was scared of his wife), news anchors and most recently, to an interpreter at the United Nations, who unintentionally expressed anti-Israeli bias:
“I mean, I think when you have five statements, not five, like a total of ten resolutions on Israel and Palestine, there’s gotta be something, c’est un peu trop, non? [It’s a bit much, no?] I mean I know… There’s other really bad shit happening, but no one says anything, about the other stuff.”
This is what happened and this is how the interpreter and delegates dealt with the situation:
The cure for hot mic syndrome? Triple check the sound system and that mute button, don’t say anything that you wouldn’t want published and alert your booth mate when he or she forgets that the world is listening!