Poor A.J. Clemente.
If you’re breathing and have access to a media outlet, you probably know Clemente’s story by now.
In the unlikely case you need a fresher on Clemente, here it is: A recent hire by KFYR-TV out of Bismarck, Clemente opened an April 21 newscast on the station by uttering a couple of choice words. Since this is a family blog, I won’t go into the exact words he said, but they rhyme with “bucking” and “fit.” I’m assuming you can connect the dots from there.
Now, Clemente had done some reporting for the station, but that day was his first behind the desk. Quite the introduction, huh? Within hours, the video clip went viral and the following day it seemed to be all anyone in North Dakota was talking about.
Though it wasn’t a complete surprise, Clemente was let go by KFYR management shortly after the mishap after originally being suspended. In the old days, it would have been safe to assume that Clemente’s days in front of a camera — at least as pertaining to him making a living doing so — would be over. But, that was then and this is now.
We like viral internet videos. In fact, having a viral video might be the quickest way to gain 15 of minutes of fame there is. Being a good sport about the entire blunder — obviously an honest mistake — Clemente has embraced his slip up and subsequent firing. In the days following his dismissal, Clemente was scheduled to appear on several national talk shows, including “The Today Show” and “The Late Show” with David Letterman.
Personally, I admire Clemente’s ability to laugh at himself, take everything in stride and face the music. In fact, while I’m not admonishing his actions in the least, he did mention in one of his interviews that the cameras started rolling 30 seconds early, so I can’t entirely blame Mr. Clemente.
Plus, I can’t imagine it would be the easiest thing in the world to go on national TV and explain your most embarrassing moment. Is A.J. simply taking advantage of his moment in the national spotlight or is he keeping himself out there in hopes of getting another crack at TV news?
I have no idea, but, as a human being who has made plenty of mistakes, I hope he gets that opportunity if that’s what he wants. If not, I have a feeling he’ll be just fine in life. He’s young, has an education and has a good attitude about life. Some people would have hid in a closet for a week after something like that.
So good luck to A.J. as he moves forward. After the next viral video comes out, we’ll all forget about this one, anyway. Besides, he’s picked up about 12,000 new Twitter followers (at ClementeAJ) and now he has a great story to tell to tell his grandchildren……when they’re old enough.