F---in S--t! Never Miss An Opportunity To Make A Moment Matter
April 30, 2013
By now, you probably know about A.J. Clemente, the TV anchor whose first day on-air was his last - at least at KFYR in Bismarck, ND.
Clemente accidentally let some choice words fly out of his mouth that are not allowed on network TV – or radio.
But what's different from A.J.'s screw-up from most of the ones we may have been associated with in the past is social media.
We live in a world where vulnerability is a hot button for virality in the social space. Everyone is taping everything just for these chance moments to capture and spread.
Traditional media is also fast to invite these "viral celebs" on their TV and radio shows and rightfully so. It's interesting to hear from these unintended YouTube stars.
But what stood out from all the media that spoke with Clemente is how "Morning Joe" – the MSNBC morning show – handled it. They didn't go for the wacky "red carpet correspondent" or yuck it up (so much) about Clemente's potty mouth. They thought it through and did something we need more of:
They made this moment matter for Clemente.
They reached out to the right person who could give Clemente the right pep talk.
Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski offered this TV rookie some face time with one of the most respected veterans in Clemente's chosen field, Tom Brokaw.
As you watch this short clip, think back to when you first got into radio and how cool this is.
Brokaw's words are fun and wise (and the underline and italics are mine):
"I made a huge gaffe when I was in Omaha at a very early age. It wasn't quite as explicit as yours was, by any means. On the other hand, it was confined to Omaha, because there was no social media."
We can never underestimate the fact that everything we do and say today has the ability to make it on YouTube, Facebook, or any other online outlet or app to embarrass us in an instant.
But more importantly, we should never miss an opportunity to be good to people when something like this happens to someone else.
We don't need to create more unintentional celebrities because their gaffe was passed around socially. We need more moments like what Joe and Mika offered.
Rather than being quick to get the next "viral celeb" on-air just to say, "How does all of this attention feel?" take the time to think of what would matter most to them. That is, how could you make their fleeting moment in the spotlight mean something before it fades?
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
Please enjoy MERGE archives here.