A reporter for a Michigan newspaper was fired Monday 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 “fucking 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.” (RELATED: Michigan Reporter Caught On Tape Saying ‘F**k Could You Imagine John James Winning’)
In the audio of Battel’s voicemail, first obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation, Battel could be heard saying: “Hi, my name is Brenda Battel, I’m a reporter with the Huron Daily Tribune in Bad Axe, Michigan.”
“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 attempts to hang up after giving her number, but the phone remains connected.
“Man, if he beats her… Jesus! Fucking John James. That would suck! Whew, I don’t think it’s going to happen though,” Battel continued.
James’ campaign manager expressed her frustration with the media, mentioning that this happened as the race has tightened significantly.
“It shows you that some media will do anything to keep the status quo and career politicians in power,” campaign manager Tori Sachs said. “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.”
Battel’s comments come as James is in a tight race against Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in the Nov. 6 midterm elections.
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