In a completely ordinary election move, a local newspaper asked one of the candidates for a post-election interview. Should he or she win, the candidate can use the interview to thank supporters, re-iterate issues, or extend an olive branch to voters who were supporting the other candidate. Should the candidate end up losing the election, they can thank their supporters, reflect on some campaigning regrets, or extend a congratulatory remark to the winner.
Asking for an interview was a completely normal thing for a Michigan newspaper to request of Republican senatorial candidate John James, but the request soon took an unexpected turn.
As the Daily Caller reports, Huron Daily Tribune reporter Brenda Battel left the campaign a voicemail requesting the interview but then went on an unprovoked rant about the candidate she was calling.
She obviously thought she had hung up the phone — but, she didn’t.
Check out the ensuing comments, via the Daily Caller:
“Hi, my name is Brenda Battel, I’m a reporter with the Huron Daily Tribune in Bad Axe, Michigan,” Battel said 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 [email protected] 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! F*****g John James. That would suck! Whew I don’t think it’s going to happen though,” Battel continued.
The campaign released the audio of the voicemail online:
Ouch… talk about media bias.
“It shows you that some media will do anything to keep the status quo and career politicians in power,” campaign manager Tori Sachs said in a statement to the Daily Caller. “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.”
James, an Army combat veteran, is looking to topple incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow and most recently closed a 20-point margin to just 2 points. He has received endorsements from President Trump, Donald Trump Jr. National Security Adviser John Bolton, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and several others.
As the Washington Times reports, the Huron Daily Tribune reporter was fired from her company after the voicemail went viral online.
“The voice message, with Ms. Battel’s contact information expunged, quickly went viral and, within hours, she was out of a job,” the Washington Times reported.
“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,” Ms. Hessling’s statement continued. “These statements do not represent the views of the Tribune as a whole, nor do they reflect the actions of a responsible journalist.”