WVU Journalism School Dean Maryanne Reed says the Clemente incident is also a lesson in the power of new media.
Twitter caused the video to go viral around the world.
That surge of publicity likely contributed to his firing, but the sensation created by the Internet ultimately led him to appearances on the Today Show and David Letterman, that helped generate sympathy.
"There has been a huge outpouring of support on social media," Reed told me Wednesday on MetroNews Talkline. "The irony of this is he's probably going to get a really good job at the end of today."
Over 35 years in broadcasting I've managed to avoid an "A.J. Moment," (knock on wood), but I've made a file full of mistakes and said a lot of things I wish I had not.
Often those missteps trigger an email or phone call from someone taking exception or correcting me.
That feedback is a valuable reminder that people are listening, that words do matter, and that the built-in editor that broadcasters develop over the years serves as a vital buffer between the brain and the mouth or the keyboard.
Pretty soon now the buzz over Clemente will die down, and the fickle spotlight of momentary fame will shift elsewhere, but I'm going to try to remember A.J.'s meltdown.
After all, I'm a radio announcer, not a sailor.
Kercheval is host of TalkLine, broadcast by the MetroNews Statewide Radio Network from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The show can be heard locally on WCHS 580 AM.