AJ Clemente | News | North Dakota

AJ Clemente, Fired for 'Gay' F-Bomb Gaffe, Appears on 'Today' Show: VIDEO


AJ Clemente, whose first day news anchor gaffe went around the world earlier this week, appear on the Today show this morning after being feted as David Letterman's Top Ten subject last night.

Clemente discussed the gaffe, and reiterated that he wasn't saying the word 'gay', he was trying to pronounce Tsegaye Kebede, the winner of the London Marathon, and got panicked, and that's when the cursing came out.

Added Clemente: "I would never use that slur. I definitely want to make sure people know that."

Watch the segment, and Letterman's Top Ten, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Letterman Top Ten:

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  1. Geez, I sure hope somebody gives this kid a second chance. Where would all of us be if someone didn't give us a break when we needed it?

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Apr 24, 2013 9:55:29 AM

  2. I believe him, but he should have known better than to drop the F bomb on the air.

    Posted by: Jack M | Apr 24, 2013 10:10:56 AM

  3. Kid needs to mature a little before going back on TV, but I think he deserves a second chance.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Apr 24, 2013 10:11:44 AM

  4. First of all, the word gay is not a slur. Secondly he is a terrible on-air personality. I'm all for second chances but this guy has no business being on television.

    Posted by: (the other)jamesintoronto | Apr 24, 2013 10:12:52 AM

  5. He will be just fine. It is true that he seems terribly stiff on the air but it was only his very first day.

    I wish him all the luck and a floor director to alert him that he's on the air!!!

    Posted by: Ray | Apr 24, 2013 10:27:38 AM

  6. You can't fix stupid. There are cameras in the room. You watch what you say. Jeez.

    Posted by: Steven Sayre | Apr 24, 2013 10:27:51 AM

  7. I'm from Toronto as well and I want to say that I disagree with James, 100%. I think AJ looks good on camera and even in this interview he's far less offensive than half of the people currently on television.

    Posted by: Gigi | Apr 24, 2013 10:33:24 AM

  8. Dumb as a box of rocks with delivery as bad as the USPS, but I wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating crackers!

    Posted by: drumstick | Apr 24, 2013 10:34:27 AM

  9. In all the clips I've seen, he clearly said "gay" f....ng s..t" at the beginning as the co-anchor was speaking, then started mumbling the name of the runner.

    Whatever, either way he's not suited for a career in broadcasting- in front of the cameras.

    Posted by: HirsuteHeuristics | Apr 24, 2013 10:34:30 AM

  10. He did not say gay. He was pronouncing the name of the runner wich had "gei" in it. He is a moron, but quit trying to make this a gay story, its tacky of you and shows poor journalism skills.

    Posted by: Jerry | Apr 24, 2013 10:44:28 AM

  11. agreewith jamesetcetera, gay is not a slur... but did think that AJ sounded kinda gay, he reminded me a bit of Roxxy Andrews sans drag...

    Posted by: V-8 | Apr 24, 2013 10:57:37 AM

  12. The population of N. Dakota is 700,000 people, smaller than many big cities. Not that a breakout Star can't appear from such a small talent pool, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a chicken reporting new at a local N. Dakota TV station.

    Posted by: StevyD | Apr 24, 2013 10:58:59 AM

  13. Other comments stated his Twitter account had "no homo" comments on it but have since been removed.

    Posted by: Tim | Apr 24, 2013 10:59:56 AM

  14. True, the word gay is not a slur but when used in the context of "gay eff'ing sh*t" it becomes a bigoted statement. Yes, Yes, I know he says he was trying to say the name of some marathon runner but that's in his own mind and it isn't what we heard over the air.

    He doesn't come off as the brightest bulb for news announcing. Perhaps a job behind the scenes would be much more suited to his (lack of) talents.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Apr 24, 2013 11:02:58 AM

  15. True. "Gay" is not a slur but in the way he was inaccurately accused of using it here, it would have been (along the lines of "That's so gay"). But, again, he was not using it that way. Still, can't help but notice that even when Lauer gives him another chance to ply his trade at the end of this segment, he STILL starts with "um."

    Posted by: chris | Apr 24, 2013 11:03:19 AM

  16. I don't get why there's like this movement to get him put back on the air. I swear people involve themselves way too much in everything, the station has every right to suspend or fire somebody for being so unprofessional. What if they bring him back and he does it again? Then people would say 'they should have known better'. They can make their own personnel decisions and just because people have nothing better to do on Facebook than find phony causes to attach themselves to doesn't mean they should pay any attention. People lose their jobs all the time for much worse reasons and don't get huge community support just because their work isn't aired live on tv.

    Posted by: Wes | Apr 24, 2013 11:28:26 AM

  17. I don't care what some of you pathetic, bitter, middle-aged queens have to say, because I think this guy is super hot! Sure, he's no Einstein, and he's not male model pretty, but he's got this sexy jock frat boy kind of vibe. And that shy little drawl/lisp thing is adorable. I'm sure he'd be a lot of fun under the covers! And I think some of the people who are criticizing him here feel the same way but they are too PC to say it! Just keeping it real, guys!

    Posted by: TANK | Apr 24, 2013 11:30:38 AM

  18. Oh, the irony of having the last name Clemente.

    Posted by: anon | Apr 24, 2013 11:31:57 AM

  19. The stuff he mutters repeatedly after the f-bomb is definitely the London marathon winner's name, so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt on that one. I'd also like to give him the benefit of the doubt on being hyper-nervous before his on-air debut - in my worklife, I used to have to introduce people onstage and for the first year or so that I did it, I was nervous, talked too fast, stumbled over my intros, etc, but I've settled in and gotten very used to it now. But...there's that Twitter history - now deleted - that others have mentioned. First time I saw this video, I looked that up and what people are reporting was there WAS there and has now been scrubbed. So he gets no benefit of the doubt from me on that one.

    Posted by: MrRoboto | Apr 24, 2013 12:07:44 PM

  20. I've often wondered why on-air newsreaders don't bother to review their copy before the broadcast starts, to make sure they can pronounce everything properly and read the stories smoothly. The fact that they don't bother is one more indication of how low broadcast "journalism" has sunk in this country.

    @TANK: You should be proud. Not everyone has the courage to admit publicly how shallow they are.

    Posted by: jomicur | Apr 24, 2013 12:17:54 PM

  21. Hope he gets another chance, maybe off camera.

    Posted by: Rob West | Apr 24, 2013 12:20:38 PM

  22. Would like to see him get a second chance, after all he did this at a creativity challenged and brain dead station in über conservative North Dakota of all places! Just think that too many people say to themselves, we have ALREADY failed one guy named Clemente big time, we can not fail this one. If there is any sort of movement arising from this cause célèbre then this is at least part of it.

    Posted by: Mike | Apr 24, 2013 12:32:19 PM

  23. Well, there's always Tsegaye porn!

    Posted by: CVP | Apr 24, 2013 1:48:29 PM

  24. I assume that part of the reason he comes across so bad on the air is because he's distracted by a producer yelling in his ear and by the realization that he just screwed up royally on his first day on the job. Even his co-anchor looks distracted.

    Posted by: Merv | Apr 24, 2013 4:30:49 PM

  25. Umm Jomicur: that's what he was doing.

    Posted by: UGH | Apr 24, 2013 4:34:36 PM

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