A reporter who left a profane message on the voicemail of Republican Senate candidate John James has been fired.
The Huron Daily Tribune reporter accidentally failed to hang up the phone when leaving a message for the Michigan Republican, local news station WKMI reports:
“Brenda Battel, who worked for the Huron Daily Tribune in Bad Axe, had been trying to reach out to James by telephone on Monday to organize a post-election interview. After leaving the original message, she apparently didn't hang up the phone properly and then followed up by making obscene remarks about James, who is running against incumbent U.S. Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow.”
James’ campaign, in the midst of its tight contest with incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow, posted video of the recording on YouTube, in which Battel can be heard saying:
“Man, if he beats her…Jesus! F**king John James.
“Whew. That would suck! I don’t thinks it’s gonna happen.”
The video on James’ YouTube page has been viewed more than 150,000 times since it was posted on Tuesday.
In a statement posted on the newspaper’s online version, Kate Hessling, Editor at the Huron County Tribune, says she “can find no reason to defend this behavior” and that Battel is no longer employed by the newspaper:
"I have listened to the voicemail left by Brenda Battel to Mr. James' campaign, and find no reason to defend this behavior," said Kate Hessling, editor of the Huron Daily Tribune. "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."
EXPLICIT LANGUAGE WARNING: The video below contains offensive language.