Fired News Anchor A.J. Clemente Back On The Job -- As A Bartender
Not quite the television break he was hoping for. And neither is it really a new job. He's returned to the bartending gig that he had before getting the anchor slot; he's tending bar at the Table and Taproom in Dewey Beach, Del., located 45 miles south of Dover. He's working hard for tips, too. The bar is promoting his semi-celebrity status with a sign, "A.J. Clemente/Straight From Letterman/Tonight Behind The Bar."
"I definitely need to make money for bills," he told the celebrity entertainment news site, RumorFix.com. That's quite the comedown for a man who enjoyed media coverage that might make even the Kardashians envious. Since getting fired, he has been on the "Today" show, "Live With Kelly and Michael" and "The Late Show With David Letterman," among other venues, to discuss the incident. And since being posted to YouTube, the clip of his on-air mishap has garnered more than 1.7 million views.
In speaking to David Letterman, Clemente said "nobody knew" the cameras were rolling when he dropped the f-bomb. He was even surprised about it when he was finally notified by the show's producers. "By the third [commercial] break my news director walks in, and says you need to apologize. I say, 'For what?' "
But even though he, as he recalled it, "went home, crawled in bed and called [his] parents" after getting fired, he has no hard feelings, he says. "I fully expected they would fire me," he told the "Today" show. "I even called my news director after and apologized again." There was "no animosity at all," he added. Susannah Collins was fired earlier this month after she mistakenly referred to the Chicago Blackhawks' "tremendous sex" -- she meant "success." (Her bosses said that they fired her due to "unrelated" circumstances.)
And last week, BBC radio presenter Paula White was yanked off air by her producers after a listener sent a text message to her producers questioning whether she was drunk. It was her last day hosting the Friday afternoon segment, and she could be heard slurring remarks like, "It's a P-A-R-T-Y because I said sooooooo." She's admitted to having had a few drinks, but denies being drunk. The BBC has yet to decide on her fate. But White was immediately taken off air for performing "under par," according to the BBC.
Clemente, for his part, wants to get back in the game. At one point during their interview, Letterman asked Clemente if he would take his old job back in North Dakota if an offer came. "I've thought about it," he said. Then added, "But if ESPN comes knocking ...," suggesting that he might be thinking bigger this time.
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Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.
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