Michigan Reporter Forgets To Hang Up, Then Slams John James
A reporter in East Michigan left a voicemail for Senate candidate John James, but forgot to hang up the phone when she was done and what she said next got her fired.
Brenda Battel used to work for the Huron Daily Tribune in Bad Axe before her voicemail incident happened this week.
She called Michigan Senate Republican candidate John James to try and set up a post election interview. She left a voicemail with contact info but failed to hang up the phone. That's where the trouble started.
She can be heard saying, "Man, if he beats her. Jesus! F*#$ing John James. That would suck! Whew, I don’t think it’s going to happen though."
The Huron Daily Tribune wasted no time in firing Battel. The editor issued a statement through the paper on Monday.
I have listened to the voicemail left by Brenda Battel to Mr. James' campaign, and find no reason to defend this behavior, Brenda Battel's employment has been immediately terminated. The Huron Daily Tribune sincerely apologizes to Mr. James and to the public. These statements do not represent the views of the Tribune as a whole, nor do they reflect the actions of a responsible journalist.
I'm not defending Battel in any way here, but I will say that this is one of the hardest parts about working in the news. Everyone has an opinion, and normally as long as you keep it out of your work, there is no problem.
She thought she was doing that, but I understand that even by saying those things while she was working, she was doing the wrong thing.