A reporter for a newspaper in Michigan was fired on Monday after calling Michigan Senate Republican candidate John James’ campaign hoping to get an interview and accidentally leaving a profane message on his voicemail.
Brenda Battel, a reporter for the Huron Daily Tribune, called James’ campaign office on monday afternoon requesting an interview on Wednesday, the day after the midterm election.
Listen to the message she left in the video below:
“Hi, my name is Brenda Battel, I’m a reporter with the Huron Daily Tribune in Bad Axe, Michigan,” Battel says in the voicemail.
“I’m looking to set up an appointment with Mr. James for some time on Wednesday for a phone interview regarding the election results,” Battel continued. “I’m probably going to send an email over to the firstname.lastname@example.org with some details. Um, if you’d like to call me back, my number is [extension]. Thank you.”
Battel then attempted to hang up and end the call, but fails to do so. The recording then picks up what she said afterwards.
“Man, if he beats her… Jesus! F---ing John James. That would suck! Whew, I don’t think it’s going to happen though.”
It didn’t take long for James’ campaign to contact the Huron Daily Tribune about the voicemail sent by Battel. The Huron Daily Tribune fired Battel when they discovered the news.
“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.”
James’ campaign manager Tori Sachs responded saying that this is just one example of why she is frustrated with the media.
“It shows you that some media will do anything to keep the status quo and career politicians in power,” said Sachs. “The liberal media can’t stand the idea of a job creator and combat veteran coming to Washington to shake up the system. This happened as we closed in within the margin of error.”