A graphic on an evening news broadcast identifying President Bush as a “professional fascist” has touched off confusion, apologies and an investigation.

The estimated 360,000 viewers of New Zealand’s TV3 news program last night were “surprised and confused” by the graphic, which was supposed to promote an upcoming weather report, the New Zealand Herald said.

Graphic on New Zealand TV news program

TV3 issued an apology for “a completely unintentional mistake” and said it is conducting a thorough probe into the matter.

“It was an absolute case of human error,” said spokesman Roger Beaumont, according to the Herald. “The fact that it made it to air was extremely unfortunate and we apologize for any offence that may have been taken.”

The graphic appeared on the screen for a matter of seconds, the Herald reported.

Beaumont said he could not say at this point whether disciplinary action would be taken against the person who made the “absolutely genuine mistake.”

“But we are looking into it, for sure,” he said.

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