Broadcast reporter A.J. Clemente had his first and last day on the air over the weekend.
While preparing for his debut on North Dakota NBC station KFYR, he didn’t realize he was on a live mike. Nerves clearly getting the best of him, he could be heard saying “F*****g s**t” just as his co-anchor Van Tieu was kicking off the 10pm broadcast. At first, he was suspended for the slip. Then he was fired. Apologies came from all sides, including Clemente, who has taken to his Twitter account to reassure everyone that he’s taking it in stride and to thank everyone for the support.
But the question is whether the punishment is bigger than the crime. Yes, it’s live TV and totally unprofessional. But it’s also really funny (clip below). And clearly, the guy wasn’t going to make it a habit to use this kind of language during the broadcast. When you hire young people to do big jobs, there’s bound to be a mishap or two. Heck, when you hire old people to do a job, mistakes will be made. A slap on the wrist probably would’ve been sufficient.
But what do you think? Should AJ have been given another chance?
Update: Our rookie reporter of the week, AJ Clemente, made an appearance this morning on the Today show, where he talked about the circumstances surrounding his disastrous first evening on the air in North Dakota. Turns out it was a “storm” of different things that set up the now infamous clip, and Clemente says he fully expected to be fired for the mishap. But, because when you go viral things happen, he got the chance to tease some upcoming segments during his morning show appearance. That’s a resume booster if ever there was one.
It should also be noted that in a poll of Today show viewers, more than 86 percent said they don’t think AJ should’ve been fired. He’ll be back in the studio in no time, we predict.