You just knew this was going to happen. A.J. Clemente is riding the wave. By now, you probably know who Clemente is. He’s the guy whose first two words on his very first newscast as a news anchor at a TV station in Bismarck, ND got him fired. Need a refresher? Click here.
Clemente is now enjoying his 15 minutes of fame for his screw-up. This morning he was in New York City appearing on the Today Show, Live with Kelly and Michael and then Letterman later tonight. ”Live” offered him a job as a red-carpet reporter for some upcoming entertainment awards show. Anchor legend Tom Brokaw gave him a pep talk. It’s certainly a far cry from Bismarck isn’t it?
I dug through my memory for my messy moments as an anchor. I can come up with two of them, both around a quarter a century ago, long before YouTube was around to spread the embarrassment to all ends of the earth.
There’s a small town near where I used to work called Shady Cove. The script had me saying, “The city of Shady Cove …” Well, I inadvertently combined the words city and shady, and it came out S***- y Cove instead. Oops! Sometimes shady happens.The other blunder happened when instead of saying “they stored the fish in a warehouse”, I said “they stored the fish in a whorehouse”. Actually I think that’s where they ought to store fish.
Each time I went home that night waiting for a call from the networks and book publishers. It was going to make me famous. I would be making millions. But nothing from The Today Show. Or The Tonight Show. Heck, I didn’t even get a call from my boss about either faux pas.
Times have certainly changed. Stumbles and scandals and sins can go viral on YouTube and social media. Punishments can often turn into opportunities. So I have an idea. Take a look at my video (that’ll be me on the far left), and see if it could lead to something bigger and better for me.
I’ll be waiting by the phone for the calls from the networks and publishers. If A.J. Clemente can do it, so can I.