In the span of two hours this morning, A.J. Clemente got a chuckle out of Matt Lauer, he got a pep talk from Tom Brokaw and got a job offer — covering a red carpet movie premiere — from Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan. (Thankfully for all involved, it’ll be on tape.)
The once (and only once) North Dakota anchor is in New York explaining why he uttered the words “fucking shit” at the start of the 5pm news on Bismark NBC affiliate KFYR Sunday. In his first stop on “Today” he told Lauer and Savannah Guthrie a number of factors, “a storm,” he called it, led him to utter the words. The show went on :30 early, he didn’t have IFB, there was a name in his second script he was having trouble pronouncing and, on top of it all, as this was his very first newscast, so he was nervous. He says he didn’t even realize he was caught on tape until the third commercial break when his news director told him. “I fully expected, you know, that they would fire me,” says Clemente who says he doesn’t hold a grudge.
Later, Clemente went on “Morning Joe,” where South Dakota native and news legend Tom Brokaw told Clemente it can happen to the best of them. “I made a huge gaffe when I was in Omaha at a very early age,” said Brokaw. “It wasn’t quite as, as explicit as yours was, by any means. On the other hand, it was confined to Omaha, because there was no social media.”
Watch the “Today” and “Morning Joe” appearances after the jump.