Fired anchor: Letterman talks to A. J. Clemente (+video)
Fired anchor on Letterman: A. J. Clement was fired for swearing on the air. But the former North Dakota anchor appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman Wednesday.
A.J. Clemente understands why he was fired. But he's making the best of his infamy.Skip to next paragraph
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The first day on the job, at NBC's KFYR-TV in Bismark, North Dakota, Clemente uttered two audible profanities under his breath. On Sunday, he was trying to pronounce the name of the Ethiopian winner of the London marathon. In frustration, he swore. What he didn't realize was that he was already on the air.
And Clemente didn't even realize his mistake until later in the broadcast. Then, he and his co-anchor apologized. The next morning he was fired.
Video of Clemente's two-word uttering was posted online via social media sites, and the hashtag "Keep AJ" started trending on Twitter in support of the self-described West Virginia University graduate.
Clemente tweeted after the broadcast: "That couldn't have gone any worse!"
But since the goof went viral, Clemente has appeared on NBC's "Today Show." And Wednesday night he told Letterman, "If it wasn't me ... I would literally watch it 100 times."
Letterman was sympathetic, and showed clips of far more experienced newscasters making similar open mike mistakes.