A.J. Clemente, the fired North Dakota anchorman who hails from the east coast, made it back to New York City on Wednesday morning to appear on "The Today Show." The West Virginia graduate discussed what he calls a "gutwrenching" on-air gaffe.
"When I first saw the clip, it was gutwrenching," he said. "I didn't even know I said it on camera before my news director walked in on third break."
After sympathetic "Today" hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie aired the viral video of Clemente accidentally saying "f--king s--t" on air, the aspiring newscaster laid out all of the reasons he could think of as to why it happened.
"We actually came on 30 seconds early," Clemente explained. "The London marathon is my second story, there is literally three names I don't know how to pronounce at all."
He also cited "no cue, no countdown," as well as no earpiece and not enough training from his former KFYR-TV employers. Still, he said he completely understands why he was fired, but is hoping for a second chance.
And both Lauer and Guthrie are rooting for him to get it.
"We should mention you are a reporter, you can shoot, you can edit, and we know you have a way with words," Guthrie said. "So if anybody is watching, we think, A.J., a second chance would be a great thing for you."
But just in case no other stations want to take the risk, the "Today" hosts allowed him take the lead before the commercial break. Here's his second chance:
- Savannah Guthrie
- Matt Lauer