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Dave Ross

Fireball shot

Migrants wait to register at a processing center in the makeshift migrant camp known as "the jungle" near Calais, northern France, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Crews have started dismantling the squalid migrant camp in France after the process to clear the camp began in earnest on Monday. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

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.

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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!

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

About the Author

Dave Ross

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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