You're Fired: Local Reporter Axed After Explicit Outburst Lamenting GOP Win In Michigan Was Caught On Voicemail

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Posted: Nov 06, 2018 5:45 PM
You're Fired: Local Reporter Axed After Explicit Outburst Lamenting GOP Win In Michigan Was Caught On Voicemail

It’s Election Day. Voters are heading to the polls to decide who will control Congress. Governorships will also be decided. In Michigan, Republican John James is running against Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow. It might be a close race. In the final days of the campaign, James is within two points of her—and that’s from a Democratic pollster.

For one reporter, the thought of James winning was just too much. Brenda Battel of the Huron Daily Tribune was caught rather explicitly on a voicemail to the James campaign asking for an interview. She wanted to do an interview on the election results. She thought she hung up the phone. Big mistake. Her words, “Man, if he beats her… Jesus! F**king John James. That would suck!” Well, this outburst ended with her firing (via Daily Caller):

A reporter for a Michigan newspaper was fired Friday night after calling Michigan Senate Republican candidate John James’ campaign looking for an interview and thought she hung up the phone before leaving a voicemail saying “f**king John James … that would suck.”

The news comes after Brenda Battel, a reporter for Huron Daily Tribune, left the voicemail on James’ campaign offices phone number at 3:40 PM Monday, requesting the interview for Wednesday, the day after the Nov. 6 midterm elections. In the voicemail, she expresses her interest in interviewing James, believes she hung up the phone, and then goes on to curse about a possible James victory, saying she doesn’t think it will happen.

“I have listened to the voicemail left by Brenda Battel to Mr. James’ campaign, and find no reason to defend this behavior,” Huron Daily Tribune editor Kate Hessling said in a statement. “Brenda Battel’s employment has been immediately terminated.”

“The Huron Daily Tribune sincerely apologizes to Mr. James and to the public,” she continued. “These statements do not represent the views of the Tribune as a whole, nor do they reflect the actions of a responsible journalist.”

Now, while this is some welcome news, don’t expect James to clinch an upset here. That’s not to say don’t be hopeful and all is lost, but the GOP has better chances to pick up seats in Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana, and Florida. Another dark horse race is—believe it or not—in New Jersey, where Republican Bob Hugin has executed an excellent challenge to incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, who has been marred by an ethics scandal. Menendez should be putting Hugin away in the deep blue state by double-digits, but Hugin’s pervasive negative ad campaign has chiseled away at Menendez’s base of support. The ethics fiasco, in which Menendez was accused of accepting lavish gifts in exchange for political favors on behalf of Dr. Salomon Melgen, has depressed Democratic voter enthusiasm, which could be trouble. We’ll keep you posted on all the races tonight.

In the meantime, I guess someone else at the paper will have to fill in for Battel: