BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota news anchorman who was fired after uttering a couple profanities during his debut joked with David Letterman that he wouldn't mind a job with ESPN.
A.J. Clemente appeared on Letterman's late-night talk show Wednesday, chatting with the host about saying two obscenities just as cameras began to roll during the 5 p.m. Sunday newscast. He was first suspended, then he was fired Monday by KFYR-TV in Bismarck.
The clip of Clemente's gaffe went viral online and gained national attention.
When Letterman asked him if he wanted his job back, Clemente replied, "I've thought about it, but if, you know, ESPN comes knocking ... "
Letterman said, "that ain't gonna happen," and told Clemente that he was trying to get him his job back in Bismarck.
"There should be an offer, and they should apologize to you," Letterman told Clemente. "And you should go back because you're man enough to face the music."
Dick Heidt, general manager of KFYR-TV, declined comment on that prospect, telling The Associated Press that he can't discuss Clemente's firing because it was a personnel matter.
Clemente has said he swore on the air because he became frustrated while practicing pronouncing the name of the London Marathon winner and didn't realize his microphone was on.
On Letterman's show, Clemente said he "crawled in bed and called my parents" after the gaffe.
"But the next day, you know, you've got to pick yourself up, you've got to laugh at yourself and, you know, keep going," he said.
Letterman credited Clemente with providing "a great lesson" with that statement before joking around again, asking Clemente, "Now, what about these goons in Bismarck? Are they going to give you the job back?"
Clemente laughed, then said, "they aren't goons."
If you want to vote whether you think KFYR did the right thing firing A.J. or not, go to our poll question on this website and vote.