April 23, 2013 at 6:49 AM ET
A live camera can be a daunting thing. Mistakes are mercilessly broadcast to often unforgiving viewers and bosses. The first time live on camera can be one of the scariest things that happens to somebody in this business. But do jitters excuse all mistakes?
A.J. Clemente – a weekend news anchor for NBC affiliate KFYR in North Dakota – uttered his first words as a TV anchor, but before the young aspiring journalist knew it, he was trending for all the wrong reasons.
When the F-bomb is dropped, especially on live TV, it's loud.
Clemente's bosses weren't amused. The fledgling anchor was first suspended, then outright fired. Monica Hannan, KFYR's news director, apologized to viewers on Facebook:
To all of you who are writing in...I want to apologize for an incident that occurred prior to our early newscast this evening, when one of our employees used profanity on the air.
He did not realize his microphone was on, but still, that's no excuse. WE train our reporters to always assume that any microphone is live at any time. Unfortunately, that was not enough in this case. WE can't take back what was said.
But did the punishment suit the crime? Weigh in below: