Zapruder Analysis of A.J. Clemente's (F-Bomb-Dropping News Anchor) 15 Minutes of Fame
As I wrote about yesterday, Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz kind of recalibrated the acceptability scale for the F-word on Saturday when he dropped it in the middle of his brief speech welcoming Bostonians back to baseball in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. Hell, even the FCC wasn't going to deny Big Papi his right to F-bomb freely out of raw emotion.
But context is everything, and just because one man says "fucking" on the air in defiance of terrorism doesn't mean that another man can say "fucking" on the air out of the frustration of mispronouncing a name.
A.J. Clemente found this out the hard way yesterday.
Who the hell is A.J. Clemente? Fair question.
Aside from being a fantastic name in the new game we like to play on my radio show ("Astro or Random Human Being?"), Clemente is an aspiring newscaster with KFYR, the NBC television affiliate in Bismarck, North Dakota, and up until yesterday he was an employed aspiring newscaster.
Billed as "North Dakota's News Leader," and honestly I'm not sure if that slogan is the station's being truthful or if there's even more than one station in Bismarck, KFYR decided that A.J. had toiled long enough behind the scenes at the station and that on Saturday it was time to unleash him on the air, giving him a shot on the Saturday evening news alongside something called a Van Tieu.
How did it go for him? Not well. I can summarize it for you in a couple sentences, or I can Zapruder the video for all of you. Which do you want?
Yeah, I thought so. Let's roll tape....
0:05 -- Before we even get to the actual newscast, we get the tease of the top stories in Bismarck. That bubbly voice you hear promoting the headlines is that of Clemente, and the stories are downright Bismarckian. A headline about a charitable organization for the disabled called "Dreams In Motion" conducting an uplifting event followed by a headline about an avalanche (or as North Dakotans call it, a "terrorist act of snow") killing a bunch of people in Colorado, each promoted with the same exact voice inflection from Clemente. Needless to say, I'm intrigued...
0:15 -- "YOUR NEWS LEADER IN HIGH DEFINITION".....while "high definition" is sort of a given in most parts of the country, apparently it is still a promotable thing in North Dakota.
0:16.13 -- It sounds like someone saying, "GAY...FUCKING....SHIT..."
0:16.87 -- It IS someone saying, "GAY...FUCKING....SHIT..."!!!
0:17 -- Panning to the main studio shot, we see Tieu and Clemente; one is ready to go for the broadcast, the other one is still studying his notes and dog cussing up a storm. Now, as Van tries to recover from the tailspin that Clemente's one-two combo of "fucking" and "shit" sent her into (and not recovering very well, I might add), Clemente is clearly still trying to decipher something on the sheet in front of him, even going through one final "in the brain" rehearsal. Ummmm....A.J., THE SHOW HAS STARTED!!
0:18 -- Come to find out it wasn't "GAY....FUCKING...SHIT...." that A.J. was saying, which is good. Piling a homophobic slur onto this steaming pile of broadcasting dung would have been a horrible thing. Turns out they gave A.J. a story on the London Marathon to report and the winner's name looks like a Kenyan eye chart, so Clemente was frustratedly trying to get it down: