Michigan reporter fired for overheard comments about GOP candidate
Brenda Battel, a reporter for Huron Daily Tribune, left a voicemail with Michigan Senate Republican candidate John James's campaign office and, inadvertently, failed to hang up the phone.
Her next comments went viral.
Battel attempts to hang up after giving her number, but the phone remains connected.
"Man, if he beats her... Jesus! F‑‑‑‑‑‑ John James. That would suck! Whew I don't think it's going to happen though," Battel continued.
The James campaign sought to take immediate advantage:
In a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation, James's campaign manager expressed her frustration with the media, mentioning 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."
The newspaper went into immediate damage control mode and fired Battel.
"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."
The Huron Daily Tribune's website did not list Ms. Battel among the two reporters on staff Monday night.
What a shocker, huh? A biased reporter wants the Democrat to win. But should Battel have lost her job over the incident?
The problem with biased media isn't that they are biased. The problem is that they allow that bias to color their reporting. How much of their biased reporting is consciously anti-Republican is hard to say. But 85% of national reporters and editors supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016 is not surprising. We've come to expect it. It's when the media pretend to be objective or, at least even-handed in their coverage of politics that we have a problem – especially when many in the media have deluded themselves into actually believing that their slanted, anti-Republican, anti-conservative attitudes aren't manifesting in their coverage.
Many actually believe they are non-partisan in their coverage. I think there are many CNN reporters and editors who genuinely believe they are being as objective as possible. That's why they're so outraged when Trump calls them out. Certainly, there are several prominent CNN reporters who aren't even trying to hide their hate for Trump, but it's a sign of how corrupt and elitist our media have become that so many reject criticism of being biased as "attacking the press."
Should Battel have been fired? The editor probably had no choice if she wanted to keep the fiction of objectivity intact. But if bias were a firing offense nationwide, there would be few reporters left working.