Why is AJ Clemente on TV?

There’s a curious backlash against AJ Clemente today and not because he said you-know-what and then you-know-what on the air at a Bismarck, North Dakota TV station over the weekend, shortly before getting fired.

“It’s not news,” is the conclusion of several local media personalities on Twitter today, after Clemente appeared on the Today Show today, and it was announced he’d be on Letterman tonight.

Granted, it’s not the Syrian civil war, but Clemente’s story is of legitimate interest because it so rarely happens … and certainly not as often as it happens off the air in most newsrooms.

But what makes the story’s aftermath interesting is that it’s a person dealing with the worst possible moment of his life, at least until the next one comes along. A lot of us haven’t sworn on the air — and a lot of us have — but we’ve all got an embarrassing moment that’s going to make our face turn red until the day we die.

Clemente is going to get his 15 minutes and then we’ll move on. It’s hardly the first time that’s happened.

On the other hand, it’s how we deal with these adversities that make them compelling stories, if only for a few minutes. Give Clemente credit for being a stand-up guy about it, taking responsibility for his mistake, acknowledging the position he put his former employer in, and accepting the consequences.

These days, when someone does that, it’s news.