A.J. Clemente was excited about his first day on the job…until he opened his mouth. If you haven’t caught the news yet, here’s what happened. Clemente was on his first day as a news anchor for Bismarck, North Dakota’s KFYR-TV. While waiting for the “on-air” signal, he was reviewing the news he had to read, when he came across some very difficult Russian names he couldn’t pronounce. In frustration, he uttered a string of profanity. The problem? They had already gone live!
Since KFYR-TV is an NBC subsidiary, his gaffe got him national attention and an interview on the Today show. Between Tweets, FB, and media coverage, Clemente has gotten more press than he ever would have as a Bismarck anchor. Many have rallied to his side. In fact, in a poll, America says he shouldn’t have gotten fired by 3 to 1 (75%/25%). Has profanity become so common place among us? If so, why the firing? Are the producers that out of touch with the “new” American values?
Clemente, to his credit, has apologized to the public and said his mother “didn’t raise him to speak that way.” We all deserve a 2nd chance, and with all the media attention he has gotten, I’m sure he will end up with an even better job than the one he had. But this incident should cause us to pause and reflect on where we are as a society.
The bible is clear on the kind of language that ought to come out of our mouths. In Colossians 3:8, Paul writes, “But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, and filthy communication out of your mouth.” He continues in Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt.” These words echo the sentiment of Christ as written in Matthew 15:18-20, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”
Are the producers of KFYR-TV the only ones who value these truths? I hope not! A “word fitly spoken” is our goal. May we all give some thought to what proceeds from our mouths.