AJ Clemente, on his first day as a TV anchor for the NBC station in Bismarck, was struggling to pronounce the name of the winner of the London Marathon, Tsegaye Kebede, and he wasn’t getting it, and not realizing the red light was on, as he was trying yet again to say “Tsegaye,” he let loose with a phrase that we of course can’t repeat, but he came up with a pretty good euphemism on The Today Show.
“Fireball shot came right out of my mouth,” said AJ.
Anyway it went out over the air and he was fired a few minutes later — because the FCC still requires that over the air stations enforce standards of decency. But the the hosts of the Today Show thought he deserved another chance.
“We should mention you are a reporter, you can shoot, you can edit, and we know you have a way with words.”
And they have a point, because he’s a young man, and young men, and actually young women too, generally cannot talk without dropping the F-bomb.
Boomers like me were raised to fear that word. It was forbidden around the house. I believe the only time I uttered it was when a kid on the school buss challenged me to sing Yankee Doodle starting every word with F. And when you got to the part where he stuck a feather in his hat everybody laughed. And I didn’t even know why.
In those days you could actually make it to the 4th grade without ever hearing the word.
But NOW — modern entertainment couldn’t exist without it. Kids don’t even use it in anger anymore — usually in frustration. Or we heard at the Red Sox game in Boston — in patriotic defiance.
So AJ — I hope they give yo a second chance, And if they don’t [BLEEEP] em!