It’s Britney, bitch.
Well no, it’s actually Brittany, and she’s better known quite tersely as Britt. Regardless, ESPN reporter Britt McHenry drew much ire after someone leaked a scandalous video showing her arguing with a female towing company worker. She received a one-week suspension, but many were left clamoring for a harsher punishment—a firing. I do not believe Britt McHenry should be fired for several reasons.
First of all, I said that the video featured Britt arguing with a worker. That is actually not true. We are not shown an argument. The video was purposely edited to only include the parts where McHenry was insulting the woman. We do not see what led up to this interaction, or what the worker was saying.
The leaked video is blatantly skewed to portray McHenry as a self-centered, condescending jerk. In fact, the only clear words we hear from the worker are her warning McHenry that she will show the security footage to other people, a statement clearly meant to antagonize the reporter further.
It logically does not make sense for anyone to support her termination without completely knowing the details surrounding the situation. The video does not provide enough to fully depict the scope of what happened.
Second, the actual comments that Britt made were not terrible. Let’s break down a couple of her utterances.
“That’s why I have a degree and you don’t.” Can this even be considered an insult? Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did not finish college, so she is putting the worker in the same category as two of the greatest minds the world has ever witnessed. “Lose some weight baby girl.” This was the comment that broke the camel’s back. However, we don’t know what the worker looked like. She could have legitimately been morbidly obese, and McHenry could have been genuinely concerned about the potential health risks such a condition would pose.
All kidding aside, McHenry’s comments were the typical, immature and condescending insults sometimes thrown about when one is engaged in a heated argument. The engagement seemed like a silly argument and nothing more.
Third, this incident occurred during McHenry’s personal time and not while she was actually working. She was not giving this woman an interview on opening day of baseball season and cursing her out on TV.
Now, let’s take Brian Williams. He lied on national television and has not been fired. Even though people are actually calling for him to be fired, the fact that he has not been should automatically prevent McHenry from getting fired. If a journalist for NBC can lie on a news program, then McHenry should be allowed to insult as many tow truck company workers as she wants to.
Fourth, we cannot ignore the massive elephant in the newsroom: when McHenry insulted the worker’s teeth and weight, the fact that she herself has perfect teeth and is in great shape made that insult worse. McHenry is an extremely attractive woman, and people do not like it when someone who is perceivably “superior” to another outlines that superior quality.
McHenry’s one-week suspension was ample punishment for her immature temper tantrum. She has since apologized for the outburst and explained that her emotions got the better of her, as I am sure we have all experienced ourselves. As long as she does not say “Oops, I did it again” anytime soon, I hope to see more of McHenry.