In an earlier post I referenced A.J. Clemente, a newscaster for KFYR-TV in Bismarck who debuted in his new role by saying “…fucking shit!” on the air, because he didn’t know his mic was on. Not surprisingly, he was fired. Now, apparently, many viewers have come to his defense and are admonishing the station for being too harsh.
The station is not being too harsh. The station is upholding correct professional standards, and removing an unprofessional employee whom they do not trust and have no reason to trust. The episode showed him to be careless, reckless and, obviously, subject to obscene outbursts, which only are appropriate if you are David Ortiz. Ah, but some of the good citizens of Bismarck, displaying the same entrenched ethics cluelessness that led to the nomination of the ridiculous Mark Sanford, ex-Romeo governor, to lose a GOP House seat in South Carolina, don’t comprehend accountability, trustworthiness or responsibility, because to them, the only values that matter are forgiveness and compassion. The technical terms for such people are “patsies” and “marks.” They would cripple society, business and government with their mindless, deadly niceness. Examples:
- “I wish you would reconsider your decision to fire AJ,” Adam Kyle wrote on the station’s Facebook page. “His response and reaction to all of this has been mature and well measured. He has probably won many people over with his humility.” Yes, and he has every reason to he humble, Adam. He crashed the plane on his first flight. He had no record of accomplishment to weigh against this inexcusable gaffe, and he had no excuse. All right, he handles the aftermath of his incompetence well. That’s not what I would call a useful job skill, because one would hope that he would have to use it as little as possible.
- “The entire country will now judge your station by your actions in this young man’s case. You will be harshly judged for that one error,” wrote Philip Chua. Wait—it’s right for the entire country to harshly judge the station for “one error,” firing an employee who embarrassed the station and showed himself to be a rank amateur, even though it’s not an error, but it is wrong for the station to judge its new employee based on his one genuine, unforgivable error that held his employers up to national ridicule? Good grief. Philip is philosophically in tune with my adversaries on the Applebee’s thread, whose position was based on the presumption that any company that fires an employee for obvious misconduct is still the villain, and the fired employee is always the victim. This accountability-free and anti-competence attitude infects labor unions and much of the workforce. It is the bane of everything from our schools to service industries.
- “I’m really disappointed you decided to fire A.J. Clemente for a mistake that hurt no one,” Josh Jamaal said. Yes, and the pro-vulgarity lobby is heard from. Public obscenity hurts everyone, by reducing respect and eroding civil custom. It undermines civilized discourse, corrupts the young, and makes language ugly. Clemente’s outburst hurt the broadcast, which harms the audience, which is detrimental to the station. Good analysis, Josh.
If one wonders why the United States is plagued with poor service, failing businesses, bad schools, indignant unemployed, incompetent elected officials, and untrustworthy leaders, look no further than the kind, nice, forgiving, dangerous defenders of A.J. Clemente, and the millions of Americans like them, who believe there is something cruel and unreasonable about holding employees to standards. For them it is a convenient distortion of the Golden Rule: “Don’t hold others to standards, so you won’t have to be held to standards yourself.”