Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Fired TV anchor A.J. Clemente: ‘Can’t help but laugh at myself’

Fired TV anchor A.J. Clemente: ‘Can’t help but laugh at myself’, didn’t waste a lot of time finding out he had picked the wrong job by being a newscaster. Based on the Facebook and Twitter support that the former TV anchor is receiving now, he certainly has a place in the public. “A.J. Clemente made his debut as co-anchor for Bismarck NBC affiliate KFYR on Sunday, but the University of West Virginia graduate was seemingly unaware his microphone was on as colleague Van Tieu began the newscast. ‘F—— s—,' Clemente said seconds after Tieu kicked off the broadcast and mumbled incoherently. He later stammered through introducing himself at the station,” reported Fox 31 Denver on April 22, 2013.

“Ummm, thanks Van, I’m very excited. I graduated from West Virginia University and I’m used to, um, you know, from being, from in the East Coast.”

Watching the brief video clip of the fired TV anchor makes it quite apparent that neither West Virginia University nor Bismarck NBC affiliate KFYR prepared A.J. Clemente for being a newscaster.

How many public speeches did A.J. Clemente give during his university time and how often did he get to practice speaking in front of the camera? And while KFYR-TV news director Monica Hannan commented that the news station trains its reporters, it is quite apparent that it is insufficient.

“We train our reporters to always assume that any microphone is live at any time. Unfortunately, that was not enough in this case.”

As expected, TV anchor A.J. Clemente did not join Van Tieu for the following newscast, was suspended, and then fired.

Late Sunday night, the fired TV anchor deleted his Twitter account for a brief time but changed his mind and posted in a Twitter message on Monday that he thanked his supporters who forgave him the “rookie mistake.”

Before TV anchor A.J. Clemente could even tell his Twitter friends that he had been fired, his fans had already asked the TV station not to fire the TV anchor on KFYR’s Facebook page.

One of the Facebook comments reads,

“I think we're all adults and are quite capable of getting over it. It's a non-issue. You don't incorporate profanity in your newscasts, and everyone makes a mistake now and again, so let them off the hook and proceed as normal. We can all have a sympathetic chuckle. (And feel a little better about our own goofs.)”

Another Facebook supporter wrote,

“My child is four years old. My wife and I thought he was deaf. Before tonight, he had never spoken a single word. We took him to specialists, but nothing worked. That all changed tonight. When the camera cut to A.J., his awkwardness caught my child's attention. When A.J.'s enunciated the words "F—— s—,” my child - to my surprise - repeated ‘F—— s—,” It brought tears to my eyes. This is the greatest gift! Thank you, A.J., you are a miracle worker. “

Even though the last Facebook comment might be more fiction than reality, what matters is that other Facebook users responded to it positively and in support of the fired TV anchor.

“Everyone makes a mistake now and again,” wrote the above Facebook user.

In his own Twitter message on Monday, fired TV anchor A.J. Clemente wrote, “I’m a free agent. Can’t help but laugh at myself and stay positive. Wish i didnt trip over my ‘Freaking Shoes’ out of the gate.”

Being able to laugh at oneself and being able to make mistakes, maybe broadcasting this type of “news” is the kind of job that A.J. Clemente is meant to have.

Undoubtedly, there is no need for profanity on a news broadcast. But also undoubtedly, there is a dire need in the world -- for humanity to be able to be human.

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