TV3 has apologised after a graphic labelling US President George W. Bush a "professional fascist" flashed up during its primetime news.

The baseline graphic, which was supposed to have promoted an upcoming weather bulletin, was aired to 360,000 viewers halfway through Wednesday night's news.

TV3 spokesman Roger Beaumont said the network was thoroughly investigating the mislabelled graphic.


"It was an absolute case of human error. The fact that it made it to air was extremely unfortunate and we apologise for any offence that may have been taken.

"What I can assure you is that it was a completely unintentional mistake."

The graphic was on screen for only a matter of seconds, but it was long enough to leave many viewers "surprised and confused".

Yesterday, the Herald heard from a handful of those people who wanted to know how and why the mistake happened.

Mr Beaumont said it was too early to say if disciplinary action would be taken against the person who made the "absolutely genuine mistake".

"But we are looking into it, for sure."