Should the ESPN Reporter Have Been Fired?

by admin on April 23, 2015

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3042761/Maybe-missing-teeth-job-Glamorous-ESPN-reporter-suspended-atrocious-verbal-attack-parking-lot-attendant-caught-camera.html

I just wonder if it would be possible to cover this story as it’s quite interesting to see the etiquette issues associated with this, how to handle a frustrating situation in a respectful many, how the behaviour your display outside your job can affect your employment, etc. Just might be worth a discussion as I think it’s a fascinating case of “You need to behave in private in a way that you wouldn’t be embarrassed about it was splashed across the front page of the newspaper”.

Discuss away!

{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellen CA April 23, 2015 at 1:17 pm

I don’t watch ESPN or follow sports. Before this incident, I had never heard of this woman.
I’m a bit put off by the attitude I’m reading here that she probably only got her job because she’s “pretty.” Is that accusation any better than her comments that the clerk is in that position because she is uneducated?

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Beach Quilter April 23, 2015 at 2:07 pm

Ellen,

While it may not be 100% accurate that the only reason she got her job is that she’s “pretty”, physical attractiveness is a key part of hiring for women in the TV sporting world. With few exceptions (former athletes being the notable ones), women reporters are hired initially for their looks. There is precedent for not renewing contracts of older women, replacing them with younger models under the guise of “revitalizing the broadcast”–unless the women are exceptional at their jobs. This is not unique to ESPN, unfortunately.

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MamaToreen April 23, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Her own comments bragging about her education, her position in TV and saying, basically, “If I weren’t so pretty maybe I could work here” is the reason many of us feel that SHE believes she got her job based on her looks. You have to know that a prime position like that one is very comeptitve and looks amtter in TV

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BarbH April 23, 2015 at 2:26 pm

No, it isn’t better. I actually think it’s worse since those posters are replying from what they consider the moral high ground.

Saying that a woman got a job just because she is attractive is a sexist and unsubstantiated comment that has no business on an etiquette board. Would the same posters say the same thing about a male reporter in the same scenario? Doubtful.

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Wildrose April 23, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Male reporters can just be ‘dignified’. Life ain’t fair sometimes.

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MamaToreen April 23, 2015 at 3:27 pm

If he implied that “I could work here if I lost a few teeth”? Yeah, I’d say it.

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Vrinda April 23, 2015 at 3:28 pm

I would, because it has happened. You’d have to be living in a dream world if you think these anchors, not just on ESPN, but on other channels, are hired solely based on their experience. There are even male anchors I’ve seen on some channels who I am certain are not there because of their ability to report the subject matter, but because of their appearance and in trying to attract more female viewers.

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Michelle April 23, 2015 at 3:49 pm

BarbH- please see MamaToreen’s comment above.

Britt McHenry brought the physically attractive argument in.

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BarbH April 24, 2015 at 8:25 am

Yes, and some of the posters on this story seem more than too happy to lower themselves to her level.

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mark April 23, 2015 at 4:54 pm

I hear what you are saying. But is it really a sexist comment if it is at least partially true? I went and googled Female ESPN anchors, and the sportscasters and looking @ their pictures, it sure seems being young and gorgeous is a requirement to get hired. I’m sure there are more requirements as well, but based on all the images I saw it is a must requirement.

I don’t find this surprising anyways. It seems obvious to me that being photogenic is a big requirement for TV reporting, for both genders though more for females than males.

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BarbH April 24, 2015 at 8:24 am

It is sexist to imply that she got her position solely based on her looks, which is what a number of posters have implied. Of course she has to be attractive to work in television. But to say that her looks are the *only* reason she is in her current position is laughable.

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Bobby April 24, 2015 at 10:54 am

You are seriously digressing from the main issue and that is her total disrespect towards this worker, maybe her looks helped get her the job or they didnt, if you stay on issue you will realize that her disrespect was terrible, she showed serious lack of class, that is the real issue. Yes she should have been fired not suspended just like ESPN reporter Rob Parker was fired for his negative rant about RG3 of the Redskins. As a reporter, a public figure representing ESPN, she and all of the reporters must be in control of their attitudes. She needs to go.

Jessica April 25, 2015 at 11:03 am

SHE is the one that said that getting her job needs good looks because she said ‘If I lost a few teeth I could work here’. Her looks probably scored her over someone else with equal qualifications but not as photogenic so id say its fair to say looks got her in..

psammead April 28, 2015 at 11:59 am

That’s true: she might have obtained her position based on her intelligence, class and professionalism…oh, wait!

TightlyKnit April 23, 2015 at 1:22 pm

I don’t know if this is an etiquette issue or just a ‘horrible person’ issue. The women clearly doesn’t treat others well and ESPN should seriously consider their reputation before bringing her back to work.

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yankeegal77 April 26, 2015 at 5:52 pm

I agree with this 100%!!

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Ernie April 23, 2015 at 1:23 pm

As a reporter for ESPN, this woman has many people who need to work for her. Not as directly reporting employees per se, but makeup people, camera operators, caterers, lighting and sound techs, etc… ESPN should know going forward exactly how she feels it is appropriate to treat service employees. When ESPN get sued by someone working with her for a “hostile work environment”, they’re going to wish they had fired her instead of suspending her.

As far as the towing company goes, no one likes towing companies. Especially in places like yelp. No one ever likes to believe that they are the one at fault for their car getting towed, but they always are. The problem I have here is that every time, and I mean every time, I have heard of a towing sob story on facebook or from a friend or family member, the person whose car was towed was always in the wrong, but we never like to think that about ourselves.

Towing companies, the IRS, and Repo companies get a lot of negative reviews because they are services that no one ever wants to pay for. If a towing company wrongly towed my car, I’d take a stern tone with them as well. However, my complaints would not involve personal attacks, but absolutely would involve an explanation of why I was in the right, a call to the police, and a credit card charge back or small claims court action. If her statements were of that nature, this wouldn’t be news. “I was just gone for a minute” and “but I’ve parked there before” are not legitimate excuses. people need to own up to their mistakes rather than externalize their problems.

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abby April 23, 2015 at 3:20 pm

I completely agree. And even if there is documented proof that this particularly towing company does tow car that aren’t parked illegally- A. it was reported that in this specific case the reporter WAS parked illegally, and B. the cashier didn’t tow her car. The alleged “dirty” reputation of the towing company is not even relevant, even if it was proven a fair accusation.

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Devin April 23, 2015 at 3:52 pm

This company has not only bad reviews on yelp, but also an F rating with the Better Business Bureau. They have also been cited over 44 time by Arlington Police with 4 actual charges filed against them. There was also a recent incident where a driver began to tow a car with 2 children inside. The owner of the car was parked in a CVS parking lot, and had a receipt for a prescription purchase for their child at the same time the truck was towing the legally parked vehicle.
I first heard of this story from a former roommate who lives in Arlington and who’s car was towed by this company while legally parked with a properly displayed residential sticker. She works for a high ranking lobbyist group and had to ‘name drop’ and threaten legal action before they would release her car.

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catherine April 23, 2015 at 11:51 pm

You will never get good reviews or ratings for a towing company. It’s the nature of the business. re: your second comment, why were two children left alone in a car to begin with?

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Devin April 24, 2015 at 4:23 pm

One child was 16 or 17, the other was 4 or 5. The older child started yelling once they realized the car was moving, and only then did the tower put the car down. The parent had just run inside to pick up a prescription for one of the children. Also, the clerk may ‘just work for the company’, but other people who ‘just work for the company’ have been filmed making racial or homophobic slurs against people who cars they had towed. This woman let her evil flag fly, and that is against proper etiquette, but I’m also on the side who would like to know how the clerk was treating her when she attempted to get her car back.

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Vrinda April 28, 2015 at 11:52 am

And how could the tow truck driver not see that there were two children inside the car?

Lerah99 April 24, 2015 at 8:48 am

Devin,

The towing company may be run by crooks and thieves. They may be entirely shady.

But in this instance – the reporter left her car overnight in the parking lot of a restaurant which is why it was towed.

Additionally, abusing the clerk working in the office, is no way to deal with a legal issue.

If this reporter had been caught on camera stating “My car was legally parked. Your company is attempting to illegally extort me. I am calling the police to file a report” no one would have an issue.

The problem is the reporter make a vicious personal attack against the clerk and was caught on camera doing so.

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Ernie April 24, 2015 at 12:01 pm

Regarding that CVS incident, I googled it. One of the “children” was 17. The car never left the parking lot once the people inside were noticed, and the claim of the truck company is that the owner of the car left the site of the business before going into CVS. Though he did end up shopping at CVS. I’d more file that under misunderstanding, especially considering that the car was never actually towed anywhere, and technically whoever called the tow service (likely a CVS employee) saw the guy park his car then leave the lot.

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Denise April 23, 2015 at 1:23 pm

We’ve become a society that is way too quick to scream “Off with their head!”

Any lapse of judgement, dirty look or awful word said in any moment now means you loose your livelihood and become attacked by mass mobs.

The video was edited. We are seeing what certain media outlets want us to see. And then, instead of questioning it, we’re just assuming all is true and good and making decisions based on that information.

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Rebecca April 23, 2015 at 10:37 pm

Even if taken out of context, even if the attendant was rude or unpleasant, we still heard this woman make comments about the employee’s weight, teeth, intellect, etc.; we still heard her gloat about her college education (ho hum, congratulations on that, lots of regular folks also have been to college).

I have been annoyed in stores before; I have even been rude (in retrospect I realized I was wrong and also let my emotions get the better of me) but I have somehow always managed not to make personal attacks, try to pass myself off as superior because I have a degree, comment on someone’s weight, etc. That type of thing reveals an ugliness of character.

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Karen L April 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm

If she wants to rant as a private person — fine. But as soon as she brings her job into her rant (“I’m on TV”) then I don’t have any sympathy that her rant affected her job.

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Virg April 23, 2015 at 1:40 pm

Firstly, Rebecca M., for shame. Being rude and jerky doesn’t mean that she’s too dumb to do her job. Notwithstanding your disbelief, it is actually possible to be pretty and knowledgeable about sports at the same time. Since you’re coming down on her for a lack of class illustrated by her name-calling, I find calling her a bimbo to be very hypocritical.

As to her losing her job or being suspended, that’s the down side of fame. If you make bank on your public image, then you run the risk that damaging your public image will negatively affect your career, so I don’t feel that Ms. McHenry has much room to be surprised that her job is in jeopardy over a rant like this.

As to giving grace for not knowing what sort of day she had, she gets no pass from me. Insulting the intelligence and physical appearance of the desk clerk is beyond the pale no matter how badly Ms. McHenry’s life was going at that point.

As to the shady nature of the towing company, again, what about that excuses statements like “Lose some weight, baby girl.”? That was a simple, vile and personal attack against the desk clerk, and even if she was being goaded, she should have been better than that.

Virg

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Sunny April 23, 2015 at 1:48 pm

I wish we could jump forward in time to see this woman when she is old, no longer svelte, and friendless. Karma does apply to “mean girls” in the long run.

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JeanLouiseFinch April 23, 2015 at 5:43 pm

A “men girl” is exactly what I thought when I saw this. Her later apology doesn’t cut it for me either. She should have been old enough to have stopped that type of behavior while still in middle school. The people who are arguing that we should not point out that she got her job based upon her looks are incorrect too. She’s a TV reporter OF COURSE she got her job at least partly on her looks. I’m not saying she’s incompetent, but let’s not be naive about this. She is obviously well aware that she is good looking and certainly well aware that she can use her looks to get the kind of attention she wants. Should she get fired? That depends. How does she treat people at work? If she acts like a “mean girl” at work she probably should have been fired a long time ago since that attitude does not make for a good work environment.

I used to work in a law firm where the boss’ “flavor of the month” – usually a secretary, but often enough an attorney, was put in charge of tasks or cases that they had no experience to handle. I used to feel sorry for the secretaries and support staff that were forced to scramble around them in order to keep everyone out of trouble. I always felt that with the attorneys, if they really wanted to be a good attorney, they needed to understand when they were in deeper than they could handle.

This girl is a public figure, and like or not, she has more responsibility over keeping control over herself in public than she exhibited. If this was not a person who is, at least in her own eyes, famous, then I would agree that although she is a spoiled brat, we shouldn’t pile on her. However, she has a position dealing with the public and, like or not, she needs to accept that she should conform to certain kinder and calmer standards of behavior.

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JeanLouiseFinch April 24, 2015 at 7:39 am

Sorry, I meant “mean girl.”

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Gabriele April 23, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Anyone else catch the tv’s Oops!?
Quote on the video:
“ESPN’s Britt McHenry’s viscous attack on tow truck attendee”

‘Attendee’? I wonder if that’s the title on her job description.
“What’s your job?” “Oh, I’m the attendee at a tow garage”. HUH?

But what really got me was “viscous attack”.
Ah…..spell check here, please?
So that would be McHenry’s having a thick, sticky consistency between solid and liquid attack….now why didn’t they catch that on the tape? The description of the word makes it sound like the slime the guys in Ghostbusters used….(wait…maybe it is the right word…).

The word they might have been looking for is vicious….
1.deliberately cruel or violent.
2.immoral.
3.(of language or a line of reasoning) imperfect; defective.

I find it particularly funny since the Brits seem to think people in the US don’t use the ENGLISH language well.
And since my dictionary (online) is still open, let’s look at ‘attendee’ again:
“a person who is present at an event, meeting, etc., or at a particular place”
Another website provides this guideline:
“Attendants serve or aid. Attendees go to an event.”

So maybe the woman being insulted wasn’t there to serve, she had gone there for the event.

One more comment, this about the actual event. Just because the towing company has a bad reputation doesn’t mean an employee of the company should be blamed for anything. She’s probably thankful to have a job and may not like all the things said about the company but she can’t change the company so she just does what it takes to just get along.
How about Britt comes up with the money to get the woman’s teeth fixed? Helping her improve her appearance might improve her self-respect and help her get along in the world. I’m sure she didn’t set out to have bad teeth but Britt did set out to pile more shame on the poor woman.

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Another Sarah April 27, 2015 at 9:42 am

“I find it particularly funny since the Brits seem to think people in the US don’t use the ENGLISH language well.”
Says who? Most of us don’t have an opinion on it actually. Please refrain from making weird and sweeping generalisations.
Also the site you’re referring to is the Daily Mail. Referred to by a lot of English people as the Daily Heil for its wildly racist opinions, it certainly isn’t considered a bastion of good journalism (see link below)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPEzM2oV-PY
Lastly leave the poor woman’s teeth out of it. You assuming her teeth are the reason she works at a tow truck company – or that whatever her job is, her teeth are in some way an indicator of her success in life – is as bad as Britt assuming that.

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WillyNilly April 23, 2015 at 2:03 pm

I think we need the full story. Her side, the attendants side and the truth, as it were.

I absolutely think we should people in all stations if life with basic courtesy and respect. But I think it is also important to remember some people are purposely mean. We see the reporter being mean but what about the impound lot attendant?

A few years ago my best friend’s car was towed. She admitted fault but was still upset, it was hundreds of dollars and a huge hassle to retrieve. I drove her to the lot. It was cold, dark (due to being late afternoon in the winter) and in a scarey locale. We had to park my car on a dangerous seeming deserted street and walk to the impound lot that was fenced with barbed wire. The whole area seemed deserted. We entered a small, dirty trailer and had to wait at a plexiglass window for several minutes while we could see employees ignoring us. Finally when the attendant came to help my friend she rejected my friends paperwork. Her drivers license had expired and even though she had proof she had renewed it, because she did not have the new one in hand she was out of luck, she was told to come back when she had a license. The fee at the lot was over $100 a day for storage and she had no way if knowing when the new license would arrive. The attendant would not budge or even offer sympathy, she instead made several nasty comments about my friends life.

Finally I asked “I have a license. Can I retrieve her car?” The attendant gave us a bored look and said “well sure if your license is legal you can take her car if she signs off.” I had been next to my friend the whole time. The attendant never offered that as a solution even as my friend had specifically asked if there was anyway she could get her car.

Clearly the attendant just wanted to be cruel and abuse my friend.

We don’t know what the attendant in this story with the reporter to possibly warrant a verbal attack. It was just words from the ESPN reporter. Mean words, but just words. The attendant on the other hand was the gateway to possession of the reporters car.

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abby April 23, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Would it honestly make Britt look any better if the unedited recording emerged in which the cashier was nasty to Britt first? Would that make insulting her job, her weight, her hygiene, her teeth, any more appropriate? Sure, it’s entirely possible that the cashier was rude or unhelpful. But, the “she did it first” excuse doesn’t even fly in preschool, and it certainly doesn’t apply to adults. Any adult with a modicum of class and maturity should have asked to speak to a manager, or, if one wasn’t available, sent in a formal complaint the next day. It wasn’t as if the reporter was merely snappy or short with the cashier. She unleashed a very unprofessional tirade attacking the woman in a number of very personal ways. Not cool at all.

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WillyNilly April 24, 2015 at 9:37 am

Well playing devils advocate it’s possible Britt’s comments were in self defense. Her car was towed from a parking lot where she left over night. It’s entirely feasible the attendant insinuated, or straight out accused, Britt of bring a slut or prostitute – pretty young women are often attacked for their looks with sexual accusations, implying they get everything in life because they are pretty and manipulate men into buying them stuff like cars and clothes and lifestyles. I know in the story I posted the attendant made wild and nasty accusations about my friend’s life and income based solely on the fact that my friend had her car towed. I have had people call me horrible things based on nothing much at all. It does not make Britt’s comments nice or ok, but if we heard them in context they might be understandable. Everyone snaps sometimes. And if her job and appearance were brought into play by the attendant first it completely explains why she made the comments she did.

Should she have held her temper and nit taken the bait? Of course. But no one is perfect. No one reacts ideally every time.

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abby April 24, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Sorry, I just don’t see how attacking someone on a personal level equates to “self defense”. In my opinion, if the cashier was in the wrong first, Britt was not defending herself, she was stooping to the cashier’s level. Guess we will have to agree to disagree.

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Rebecca April 23, 2015 at 10:29 pm

I find it hard to believe there was anything the attendant could have said that would excuse the things this individual said to her. And the bit about the college education? Oh please. I know plenty of stupid people with college degrees. And plenty of smart people without them. I have a university degree and a post graduate professional diploma and I still don’t think I’m intellectually superior to any person I know nothing about.

Also judging by 99% of the television programming I see, you don’t have to be all that smart to be on TV either.

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MichelleP April 24, 2015 at 10:01 am

So, your friend was at fault, her driver’s license was expired and she was driving with it, and you think the attendant “just wanted to be cruel and abuse your friend”?? Uh, no. The attendant was doing her job. Releasing a car to an unlicensed driver is illegal. The impound lot was surrounded by barbed wire just like the one I worked at due to people who will try to take their cars illegally. Don’t park your car illegally and you won’t have anything to worry about.

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WillyNilly April 24, 2015 at 2:14 pm

My friend asked what options she had. The attendant never offered the option of having another person drive the car, she just told my friend she could not have her car and would have to incur hundreds of dollars in storage fees. My friend had renewed her .license in advance of it expiring and had proof of that, she simply hadn’t received the new license in the mail yet.

The barbed wire lot and desolate location both make sense of course, but also add to an already stressful, negative and upsetting situation.

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BarbH April 23, 2015 at 2:23 pm

I think it’s a bit much to judge a person based on one action on one day. I mean, I think back to some of the horrible things I’ve done and thank goodness they weren’t caught on video. I don’t consider myself a bad person but others would if they based their opinion of me on a few minutes taken out of one day.

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K April 24, 2015 at 4:02 am

“I think it’s a bit much to judge a person based on one action on one day.”

Really? So if someone you didn’t know behaved like this to you, you wouldn’t judge them? What if they hit you? Keyed your car? Hey, one action, one day.

We judge everyone every day based on what we see of them. And if you abuse people like this, those people will think you are a horrible person. Later actions may make them change their mind, but until then, they will go by what they see, and frankly, it’s rather silly of them not to.

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Shoegal April 23, 2015 at 2:37 pm

I’m not going to say she should be fired. There is not enough information and as other people have said here – there are 2 sides to every story so I am going to cut her some slack for the following reasons:

1. The towing company isn’t a stellar establishment – there is too much evidence of this to say otherwise.

2. The video was probably heavily edited so it doesn’t show the bad behavior of the clerk (and I have to imagine that there probably was given the caliber of the company – the job doesn’t lend itself well to be polite and kind to everyone). I’m just saying we really don’t know about the other side. Perhaps the clerk was polite but maybe she wasn’t. The clerk probably has a long line of unhappy people and I’m sure not all are perfectly behaved and pleasant. I agree – two wrongs don’t make a right – but we all aren’t angels especially when we become infuriated. It is extremely difficult to maintain your composure and remain civil especially if someone is just as nasty. I can’t honestly say if I would have remained calm and nice about the matter either, so yes, I will cut her some slack.

3. I also do cut her some slack because I really don’t know what else is going on in her life that perhaps influenced her behavior. She just learned her mother is dying of cancer, her husband is leaving her and her best friend committed suicide two weeks earlier and she was due to visit her brother in the insane asylum that evening and doubt she’ll be able to make it now with the car being towed. OR Perhaps her boyfriend just proposed over the Chinese lunch she just had and treated her to a manicure at the local salon. I’m saying we just don’t know. Whether it is right or wrong we are all human and I think this comes into play. Yes, in a perfect world we should all rise above what is happening to us but sometimes it may feel like the whole world is working against you and it is difficult to prevent that from having some effect on you.

4. How many of you out there ever made a mistake? I have and regretted it and wish I take back all the things I said. So again I will cut her some slack.

I don’t condone her insults at all. There were all extremely harsh and cruel. The video certainly did portray her to be a very ugly person inside and completely and utterly shallow. She has been publicly shamed and suspended from her job and she apologized on social media. I think that is enough.

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Rebecca April 23, 2015 at 3:11 pm

I’ve never heard of this individual, but she clearly thinks quite highly of herself.

I do think she is a bimbo, not because of what she looks like, but because of what she said in that video. Yes, I do think that if your job puts you in the public eye, you should be prepared to be accountable for your actions off the clock too.

The employee she was abusing displayed the utmost in class. My favourite bit:

“Makes my skin crawl even being here.”
The parking attendant patiently replies: ‘Well lets get you out of here quickly.’

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Kirsten April 23, 2015 at 3:22 pm

The Daily Mail is a trashy rag with Fascist connections, and it hates women and does everything it can to portray women in a bad light. I pay no attention to anything in that paper because it’s probably at best distorted and at worst an outright lie.

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Marozia April 24, 2015 at 11:43 pm

Well said @Kirsten!!

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Marozia April 23, 2015 at 3:40 pm

The Tow truck company employee may not have been hired for her looks, but Britt certainly was.
What does that say about ESPN, then?!?!
The tow company ‘corrupt!! Ha! That’s coming from a person who works for a media organisation who lies to the population every single day!!
McHenry should’ve just kept her vile mouth shut, paid her fine and taken her car.

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ALM April 23, 2015 at 4:13 pm

I think the one week suspension was appropriate and she should not be fired unless there are other reasons to fire her.

I say this as someone who used to work for a collection agency, which is also an industry in which ‘customer service reps’ are often verbally abused and many such establishments have less than honest business practices.

Was the reporter absolutely rude and her comments uncalled for? Yes.

Was the reporter in a situation where she was stressed out, emotional, and being penalized for a minor mistake, often disproportionately? Yes.

Is verbal abuse atypical of the clerk’s day or did the clerk only post this one customer’s rant because she is a television personality and the clerk could leverage it for a lawsuit or publicity? I think we can assume ranting customers at a tow yard are very common and we don’t see a plethora of tow yard customer shaming videos posted online.

The comments were completely obnoxious and rude, but so was the response on the part of the tow yard. (It’s one thing to complain about anonymous customers, it’s another to publicly identify people when they are not in their best moments because you can and you feel it will get you something.) As nasty as the reporter got, I don’t see the clerk outing every other person who has ever been nasty to her, mainly because outing people with nothing to lose doesn’t benefit her.

As much as people SHOULD be nice and polite in dealing with such transactions, customer service reps need to develop a thick skin when they are in the business of penalizing, harassing and cajoling people for a living. We call the clerk a ‘customer service rep’ but like at the collection agency, the person being billed is NOT a customer and the person they are providing a service to is the city or party owed money. Justified or not, they are the debtor, and being targeted to produce money. A certain amount of crankiness is to be expected and the person providing ‘facetime’ (or the voice on the phone) is going to get it sometimes. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

The reporter was in the wrong and in her outing, reflected poorly on her employer. So yes, the suspension was justified given the ‘scandal’. But the other side of the equation is: was the clerk or other employee similarly punished for selectively singling out one person even though ranting at people at the tow yard is arguably normal given the circumstances?

The reporter didn’t threaten the clerk. The reporter didn’t assault the clerk. The reporter did not trash the facilities, prevent other people from carrying out their own transactions, threaten or harm other people or retaliate against the tow company. As far as we know, the reporter didn’t even get lawyers involved, which would not be an abnormal response from people with too much money and not enough sense. All the reporter did was shoot her mouth off and she made her attacks much too personal when she was aggravated and dealing with a clerk in the business of harassment. The issue at hand was not relevant to her job and while she certainly shouldn’t be lauded, I don’t think she deserves to be fired for it.

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shhh its me April 24, 2015 at 7:21 am

While I’m not one the people calling for her to be fired.
A reporter is one of the jobs in which “the public” liking you can be critical to doing your job. If people stop watching her sports reports then yes she should lose her job.

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abby April 24, 2015 at 7:42 am

That is a good point, about the tow company releasing edited footage of the tirade when there likely are hours of other documented verbal abuse directed at the cashiers from angry car owners- that never sees the light of day.

Then again, I see it as sort of a live by the sword, die by the sword philosophy. The reporter in question gets certain perks associated with being a quasi famous TV personality; she also gets certain downfalls, like a highly emotional and embarrassing moment caught on camera getting released to the public, when if Joe Schmoe were to do the same thing, even if the tow company uploaded it to Youtube, who would watch it?

The tirade was not directly related to her job performance, but if ESPN does get any kind of negative pushback from viewers for employing her, then this incident IS relevant to her job. I have no idea where either the network or the viewers stand on this. It may be a non issue and this may just end up a blip on the radar of her career. But if ESPN is getting pressure to terminate her completely, it’s her own fault for not better controlling her temper when she works in a high profile industry.

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Cat April 23, 2015 at 4:26 pm

I never worry about how other people treat me. That’s their problem. I worry about how I treat other people. That reflects upon me and upon the kind of person I believe myself to be.
A public figure is always held to a higher standard. It comes with the job. If you are in that category, you need to be aware that cameras are everywhere and what you say and do will be fodder, not only for the news, but also for the Internet. If you embarrass yourself, you also embarrass your boss and your company, and what reflects poorly on you will also put them in the spotlight. The easy out is for them to put you out.
Anger needs to be expressed. Go home, close the door and the windows, yell at the ceiling, throw pillows, jump up and down, whatever. When you are calm and collected, you can always write a letter of complaint to whomever angered you.

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just4kicks April 23, 2015 at 5:52 pm

I apologize if anyone said this already, but….I wonder if we and the media, would be having the same discussion if the woman in question were NOT so “glamours and attractive”???

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Michelle April 24, 2015 at 8:04 am

I would still feel the same if she fell out of an ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. I’m sure the clerk deals with angry people multiple times a day and I’m sure they are rude. Britt McHenry’s personal insults about the clerk’s teeth, intelligence and weight is what I personally have an issue with.

I have been very angry and upset many times. I have never insulted a person’s appearance or intelligence while dealing with the person and/or company. I have even apologized to the customer reps for the cable company when I get angry dealing with the company, usually along the lines of “I am sorry you have to deal with me, because I know it’s not personally your fault. I am just very frustrated/angry/upset and unfortunately, you caught my call”. I never personally insult them, their intelligence or their education level. Even when I get someone who I cannot understand due to a thick accent. I usually apologize for that and ask if there is anyone else I can speak with.

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BarbH April 24, 2015 at 8:41 am

I think we would, but I think it would be with much less vitriol. Society loves to see the downfall of a pretty woman.

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psammead April 27, 2015 at 10:42 pm

Maybe, but I’d argue that even if this were the case, what society loves better still is to see the downfall of an arrogant person. And this reporter definitely qualifies on that count.

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ALM April 24, 2015 at 1:31 pm

I think it’s obvious that we wouldn’t. As I posted above, if she were a normal person of average looks and not famous, we would never have heard about the incident at all.

Do you seriously think the tow company doesn’t have HOURS of irate customer footage that they haven’t bothered posting?

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just4kicks April 27, 2015 at 2:37 am

@ALM: Exactly.

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lakey April 23, 2015 at 8:30 pm

The etiquette issue here is that, even if a business or employee is doing a poor job, you don’t resort to personal insults. If you want to criticize the employee or business, criticize them for what they are doing wrong, not for appearances or social class. The personal insults make the reporter look like a middle school mean girl, not a professional.

There is the other issue of people behaving poorly, their poor behavior going viral, and then a mob mentality ensuing with everyone on the internet piling on. That’s not very pretty either. This happens a lot. Some business or celebrity says something that is politically incorrect or rude, or they make a comment about a divisive, hot button political issue. And yeah, sometimes the comment is crummy, but do these things really warrant the amount of national attention that they get? Most of us have, at some time or other, lost it and said something we shouldn’t have. Or we hold political views that half the country doesn’t like. There’s something about the piling on that bothers me.

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abby April 24, 2015 at 8:08 am

For those interested, the unedited footage has wound up on a couple different news sources. The cashier was making fun of her and made some comment that without the botox, boob job, and peroxide, she wouldn’t even have a job on TV (which may or may not have been in response to the reporter saying she was on TV in the first place).

Neither woman comes off well here and releasing the edited footage was kind of a dirty move. All that said, my original opinion was that anyone who considers themselves an educated, classy professional should have made a complaint about the non professional behavior of the organization through proper channels rather than resorting to cheap shots against someone, and that is still my opinion.

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MichelleP April 24, 2015 at 9:57 am

I worked as a dispatcher for a towing company and ended up quitting due the abuse heaped upon me by people like the reporter. I worked hard at my job, we followed the law, and helped a lot of people who were broken down. Yes, we towed people who were parked illegally, at the request of the business owners where the cars were parked. I was screamed at, cursed at, spit on, assaulted and threatened constantly. I liked the people I worked with, but as a Christian and a timid person I couldn’t handle the stress anymore and found another job.

I am sick of the attitude that tow companies are crooks. Undoubtedly some of them are, just like there are disreputable companies in every business. Don’t park where you aren’t supposed to and you won’t have to worry about it. I’m 35 years old and my car has NEVER been towed for being illegally parked.

As far as this “reporter”, her behavior was vile and uncalled for and ESPN has every right to fire her. Like it or not she is a public figure and should represent her company properly.

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Ernie April 24, 2015 at 1:09 pm

I agree with everything you said here. I’m 33 and have managed to never have my car towed. I have lived in and traveled to many different cities.

Whenever someone gets towed, bounced from a night club, or arrested, they never think they are at fault. I guess they honestly think that the world is just being mean to them. I suppose that’s the same type of thinking that got them in their predicament in the first place.

I have never, even on my worst day, said things like the woman in the video said, to a person.

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JWH April 24, 2015 at 10:19 am

Ms. McHenry forgot one of the cardinal rules of war: Don’t fight on your enemy’s terms. If she believes she was wrongly towed, there are ways to fight back. Being rude to the tow-company’s front-office person isn’t the way to do it. Is there potential for a lawsuit? A complaint before some local towing board? Something shady that you can uncover with a little investigative journalism? Fine, do those … and fight on your terms, not the enemy’s terms. By failing to do that, Ms. McHenry lost this little dispute, and she lost it big.

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PrincessButtercup April 24, 2015 at 10:28 am

Ridiculously immature. I don’t think I’d fire her just yet, but I would require she take some sensitivity classes and mature past the age of 15 before she’d be back on TV.

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Bobby April 24, 2015 at 11:23 am

ESPN management should be ashamed and possibly fired for allowing this low life individual to keep her job, she should have been fired not suspended. She appeared more like a girl from the movie Bad Girls rather then a degree holder. She is classless, grimy and slimy. There are many people who do not have a degree who are more successful then she is. If this insulting low class reporter is put on the air, I will change the channel anytime she is on, and at the same time consider not watching ESPN period. I have to ask God to forgive me for name calling this person, I have to call it as I see it.

Hey ESPN, nice job, she must be related to someone at ESPN, most other reporters would have been fired by ESPN. ESPN fired Rob Parker for insulting RG3 of the Redskins and he was a good reporter, things that make you go hmmmmmm. Thank God there are other sports networks to view.

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Leigh April 24, 2015 at 11:38 am

How you treat people when you are having a bad day says more about your character than how you treat people when you are having a good day. Whether or not the towing was legitimate is irrelevant to her demeaning treatment of the employee, who more likely than not, had nothing to do with the actual towing of the car.

That being said, I don’t think she should be fired; however, ESPN is on notice as to how she treats people when she’s having a bad day, and that will reflect on them and their company in the future. With this knowledge, her bosses can make the determination as to if they are willing to allow her to continue to represent them.

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Sylvia April 24, 2015 at 8:06 pm

She’s a cow, and she should be fired

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InTheEther April 28, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Honestly, my opinion actually falls under, let’s all lay off the reporter.

Now, the reporter definitely should NOT have gone off like that. How she acted was wrong. Also, from what I was able to look up and what other posters have said, she WAS parked illegally and it was a legal tow. As she is in the public eye, her employers did need to respond somehow when this went viral.

On the other end, while there are plenty up forthright tow agencies that are just doing an unfortunate but necessary service, this agency is apparently shady as heck and their employees have a reputation for acting like jack-@*$* on top of it. The video was released and obviously edited. The only scenario that makes any sense in my head is that some workers at the tow company went, “Hey, isn’t she on tv? Oh sweet, let’s make her life a living hell! Dude, how bad can we make her look?”. If that was not the case, then if they did feel the need to bring it to someone’s attention they could have simply calmly contacted her work place without bringing the notoriously fickle and overreacting internet into it. With this in mind, I just can’t accept the company’s work that this verbal attack was completely unwarranted.

I doubt she walked in in meltdown mode, so I can only assume she started off calmly and as she was faced with terrible service and unhelpfulness in getting her car back she eventually hit that point. Again, she should not have devolved into personal attacks. But on the other hand, who here can say with complete honestly say that there is zero chance that they might say something they regret or don’t really mean that was hurtful when faced with a situation like that where simply going to another company or walking away all together is NOT an option?

The biggest issue I have is the company decided to go to the internet. The giant amorphus thing that has invented calling the swat team on a person because you don’t agree with their personal opinion. Not to name names, but even here there are some commentators who obviously like being on their high horse, and calling this woman an imbecile who deserves to get fired and was only hired because of her appearance makes them feel superior. As I said before, I doubt anybody here can say with any honesty that they have never completely lost their temper and been purposely hurtfull. Internet anonymity goes both ways, and to most this woman is not a real person. Instead she’s a symbol of every unreasonable customer they have ever had to deal with. It would be a lot harder if we were all in a room with her and whoever has the power to fire her at ESPN, to tell her that she was terrible and that they had better fire her.

We are harping on this way too much. This is mostly and issue between her, her employers, and the tow company. She did not act violently, she did not try to sue, or do anything other than loose her temper and speak unwisely. I think the suspension is fine. She’s gotten a very clear warning that she needs to always keep a hold on her temper, no matter what, and ESPN has shown that they are addressing the issue. For those who think her mistake deserves immediate firing and banishment from any reporting field, well I hope you never work for someone who holds the same opinion and that you never, ever, make even the tiniest mistake.

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InTheEther April 28, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Wow that was longer than I meant. I am a pedantic sucker.

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Enna April 30, 2015 at 11:17 am

She was foolish in loosing her temper in the way that she did. The thing is in some professions more than others if you are caught misbehaving it will come back and bite you on the bottom. The company clearly value their reputation and don’t want to get labelled as being unprofessional. If she is interacting with the public as part of her job they aren’t going to want her to insult those she is interviewing. Hence the suspension. Does she deserve to loose her job over this? No.

That aside I think anyone who was caught on camera and it was shown to their employer’s they might get called out for it.

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