Poor guy. Imagine if your first day flub was recorded for the world to see. That’s exactly what happened to A.J. Clemente.
As the rookie news anchor was trying to pronounce London marathon winner Tsegaye Kebede’s name, the cameras began rolling. What viewers of KFYR-TV in Bismarck, North Dakota saw and heard was Clemente uttering “F–kin’ s–t.” As his co-anchor Van Tieu began her spiel, A.J. remained clueless that he was on air. It wasn’t until a few seconds later that he realized what was going on and looked visibly shocked. When Tieu asked him to tell viewers about himself, he fumbled with his words.
“I graduated from West Virginia University, and I’m used to, um, you know, from being from the East Coast.”
Believe it or not, there were complaints to the station. Who does that? Clearly, it was his first day and made an innocent mistake. Lighten up people. KFYR-TV news director Monica Hannan quickly addressed them on the channel’s Facebook page.
“He did not realize his microphone was on, but still, that’s no excuse. WE train our reporters to always assume that any microphone is live at any time. Unfortunately, that was not enough in this case. WE can’t take back what was said. The person involved has been suspended until we resolve the situation. All we can do at this point is ask for your forgiveness, and I can offer my personal assurance that I will do my best to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again under my watch.”
That suspension only lasted a few moments as AJ was eventually let go. He tweeted the following.
“Rookie mistake. I’m a free agent.Cant help but laugh at myself and stay positive.Wish i didnt trip over my “Freaking Shoes” out of the gate.” – A.J. Clemente @ClementeAJ
At least he’s taking it all in stride. I hope another station is willing to take a chance on him. It’d be a shame for his entire career to be derailed by this one moment. Check out the video below.
Side note: Speaking of news anchors. Did you see that Ryan Lochte interview from a few days ago where the reporters couldn’t control their laughter? The interview was painful to watch but the gaggle fit afterwards by the anchors makes the video a must-watch. Check it out as well below.