Charley Johnson, Fargo, Published April 27 2013
Letter to the editor: Attention given to wrong anchormanTwo former North Dakota broadcasters were in the news last week, but only one’s story has gained widespread national attention. Too bad it’s the wrong one.
I don’t have anything against A.J. Clemente, and I guess I understand how his inability to utter a complete sentence in his television debut, without first uttering not one but two expletives, went viral in this age of social media. And, I’m not unsympathetic – some of you may remember that I spent quite a few years doing what A.J. was trying to do, and I had more than my share of close calls with an open microphone. There but for the Grace of God, etc.
But, to borrow a phrase from my old friend Al Aamodt, here’s what boils my pongus (I don’t believe you’ll find “pongus” in any dictionary – feel free to define it as it works best for you.) While young Mr. Clemente is being celebrated across the country for the exact opposite reason anyone should be celebrated anywhere, multiple generations of television news viewers on this end of the state are saying goodbye to a man who epitomized everything good about broadcast journalism. Unfortunately, there haven’t been any tributes to Marv Bossart on the “Today” show, “Late Night with David Letterman,” “Live with Kelly & Michael,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Morning Joe,” or any of the other broadcast, cable, online and social media outlets that have had fun with A.J. OK, fine, I get it. But it makes me sad.
Many people who know Marv better than I do have written wonderful tributes to him, and I happily refer you to them for greater perspective on what a great guy he was, and what a great influence he was on local news coverage, his viewers, his students and his co-workers.
I never worked with Marv, but I competed against him for what seemed then like forever. Now it seems like a heartbeat. I know he made the people he worked with better, and I can tell you he made all of us who competed against him better, too.
Rest in Peace, Marv. You left a lasting, positive mark. The worldwide Twitter-verse may not know it, but everyone who knew you does.
Johnson, president and CEO of the F-M Convention & Visitors Bureau,
is a former general manager of KVLY and a WDAZ anchorman.