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Should the ESPN Reporter Have Been Fired?


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!


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • jac April 23, 2015, 5:46 am

    If this is what she says when she knows she’s being filmed I wonder what comes spewing out her mouth when there isn’t a camera rolling. She may have a college degree but I don’t think she has much class.

    • Susan April 23, 2015, 8:27 am

      I think it’s possible that it was edited out of order. When she looks up at the camera, she looks surprised. We also didn’t hear much of what the attendant said. She may have been goading her. All that being said, Britt really let her inner mean girl out to play. Even if the whole situation was manipulated, those words really did come out of her mouth, so I’ll agree she showed no class.

      • TightlyKnit April 23, 2015, 1:19 pm

        That’s an interesting perspective I hadn’t considered. It would be stupid for her to realize she was on camera and continue to berate the attendant.

      • KarenD April 23, 2015, 1:29 pm

        Susan, you’re right. It was edited. And there’s a good bit more to this story:


        I don’t agree with the Post’s conclusion — I think ESPN was right to suspend McHenry but I believe that’s the right punishment.

        • Jazzgirl205 April 24, 2015, 6:52 am

          To me, this makes a big difference. Yes, we do not know what the employee said to her. If the the yelp reviews were an indication, the employee was probably very rude and profane. Still, it’s a bad idea to match crude for crude.

    • Susan April 23, 2015, 9:18 am

      When I saw the video, I wondered if it was edited out of order. It looks like when she looks at the camera, she is shocked. Still, she really did let her inner mean girl fly. I agree she didn’t show any class.

  • inNM April 23, 2015, 6:23 am

    My current employer has a policy that whether we are on or off the job we are their ambassadors, so it actually tempers a lot of people’s off work behaviours, since it is the single largest employer in almost every town they are based in. A report on misbehavior gets you a meeting and black mark on your record. A few black marks, and you are out.
    I say this as a person who has had to learn this myself: as an adult, we need to learn how to deal with the most trying situations with dignity and in some cases, help diffuse the situation from exploding. Everyone has a camera phone, many people want to be the next big YouTube personality, and there is no expectation of privacy in a public space. Also, damage control is near impossible once something hits the Internet. I have had to learn to not lash out and cut people down verbally. This reporter would be wise to train herself to do the same.

    Sidebar: anyone else find it a little off putting that the qualifying adjective to the ESPN reporter is “Glamorous”? Even if she is well put together, if feels like it takes away from her professional skills when she is described that way.

    • MamaToreen April 23, 2015, 11:14 am

      Maybe they’re doing that to emphasize her mean girl/snobby cheerleader behavior?

      • inNM April 23, 2015, 2:25 pm

        Eh… Still not the adjective I would expect them to use if they were going for that angle. I don’t know the reporter or her work to make a true judgment of it. It seems kinda sexist: I doubt they would call any of her male coworkers “glamourous”. Perhaps she has to be glamourous because she is on TV, but it also insinuates that, regardless of her educational successes, she was hired only for her looks.

  • Squashedfrog April 23, 2015, 6:25 am

    I’m a strong believer that if you want to see someone’s true nature, see how they behave to people in ‘lower income’ end jobs; waitstaff, cleaners, shop staff, call centre agents etc.

    People do get frustrated in situations like having their car towed, but for the most part, it tends to be their own mistake by illegally parking in the first place. And definitely not the person across the counters fault, and this celebrity gets very personally abusive and ugly to her. This woman showed a very nasty side, she’s a public figure caught abusing a member of the public. I agree she should be sacked.

    • mark2 April 23, 2015, 1:12 pm

      Lol. I once heard a woman say this exact thing when she was telling her daughter how to find the best guy to marry. She told her that she needed to watch how he treated the lunchroom lady.

      • just4kicks April 23, 2015, 4:16 pm

        Sadly, the old adage “you can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats his mother” didn’t seem to apply to me.

    • vjcole April 23, 2015, 5:17 pm

      I agree with both of you. People with class treat those in service positions exactly the same as they treat everyone else. Those who are insulting to servers, etc., are not people I want to associate with. (Not to mention that I’ve found through experience that if you are nice to people, they will go out of their way to help you!)

  • GeorgiaSusan April 23, 2015, 6:27 am

    From a meme going around the internet: “the real test of character is how you treat people you don’t have to be nice to”
    I would say what I saw from Britt McHenry is a decided FAIL of this particular test.

  • Dominic April 23, 2015, 6:30 am

    I would not want this person in my employ. If something like this had happened relatively privately and came to my attention as her employer, she would get a warning. But to have it happen so publicly, with her knowledge that she was being filmed shows an incredible lack of judgment on top of a nasty streak. I would not risk keeping someone like that at my company–she would be fired.

  • knitwicca April 23, 2015, 6:31 am

    My company handbook specifically states that employees are representative of the company at all times and should behave accordingly. This is not meant to be oppressive. It is meant to keep the company out of the news in the manner that this reporter has brought attention to the station she works for.

    Should she be fired? I think that would be overly harsh.
    What I do think is that she owes an equally public apology directly to the employee that she treated with such disdain.
    She wanted to publicly slam the towing company then tweet a general “I over reacted”. There was no mention of apology to the employee she was so rude to, no acknowledgement of embarrassment for her actions.

    No matter how this situation plays out, she has certainly limited her professional career.

  • Charliesmum April 23, 2015, 6:32 am

    I got my car towed once from my work parking lot. It seriously wasn’t my fault – long story, but this other company got shirty about parking and got spots reserved, I literally didn’t get the memo, the signage in the lot was bad, and I wasn’t paying attention anyway. So I had to go to the towing guy. It was extremely stressful (and expensive) but I managed to remain polite to the man, who was only doing his job, and it certainly wasn’t his fault that I made a mistake.

    This woman, public (ish) figure or no, needs to learn to deal with stress better, and, possibly more importantly, own her own mistakes. The ‘I was under pressure’ is no real excuse. It happens, yes, but then you say ‘I behaved badly, and I’m sorry.’

    In an unrelated topic, why is she wearing coctail dresses to report on sport? She may be an expert, but just looking at those photos makes me think she wasn’t hired for her skill so much as the fact she’s a pretty blonde who looks good in a dress. (I in no way blame HER for that. More like the media and/or society in general)

  • Mal April 23, 2015, 6:32 am

    Ever since, at my workplace, I have politely but firmly called out a customer for her rude behaviour only to have her break out in sobs, apologize profusely and tell me about her heartbreaking situation at home, I tend to cut people a lot of slack. None of us know what that reporter’s day had been like before this incident and one never knows what might spew out of one’s mouth in a stressful situation.

    No, I don’t think she should have been fired. The suspension was a good and fair measure and I think her postings afterward sounded sincere enough, even though at first she fell a bit into the trap of trying to justify her actions.

    What I would have liked to see, however, would have been for her to walk up to the person she insulted ad hominem and apologize to them.

    • Michelle April 23, 2015, 10:53 am

      +1,000 for apologizing directly to the woman she insulted.

    • Rattus April 23, 2015, 1:06 pm

      One could be cut a little slack if it were just generic over-the-top anger brought on by a personal crisis not relevant to the situation at hand, but the very specific and nasty insults directed at a person who is (a) just doing her job, and (b) didn’t tow the car in the first place shuts the door on that slack-cutting as far as I’m concerned.

  • GratefulMaria April 23, 2015, 6:50 am

    Yes, she should have been — should be — fired. I’m all for someone’s personal life being personal and might have felt differently if, for example, a family member came out and say she treated her this way at a reunion. Might be a case of “mean and jerk behavior, but her own business” in those circumstances. But this was a public interaction, and to top it off she invoked her job. If you use your position as a weapon, you don’t deserve to hold or keep it.

    • Phitius April 23, 2015, 11:35 am

      “If you use your position as a weapon, you don’t deserve to hold or keep it.”

      This put into words exactly what I was feeling.

  • Jess April 23, 2015, 7:03 am

    ‘That’s why I have a degree and you don’t – I wouldn’t work in a scumbag place like this,’

    Rude rude rude. Some people just know that paying their bills is more important than waiting around doing nothing for a potentially “better” job to just appear.

    “intense and stressful moment”

    Yes, getting your car towed is stressful. However, you must have parked illegally, or just plain wrongly, for that to be the case. So your own actions before led to this moment.

    Finally, ugh. A week? Goes to show they’d rather be seen to do “something” no matter how weak the punishment.

  • Carol April 23, 2015, 8:32 am

    Much has been made of the fact that the towing company in question has a record of consumer complaints and that the tape was obviously edited. To me, that discussion falls under the rubric of “two wrongs don’t make a right”. Ms. McHenry’s behavior was appalling, even if she was provoked. As to whether she should be fired, I don’t think so, but I do believe that a one-week suspension is not enough.

    • Abby April 23, 2015, 11:01 am

      In all fairness though, the company in question is a towing company. It’s possible they are rude to people or tow cars that aren’t illegally parked, but I also wouldn’t expect glowing reviews either- wow, Advanced Towing towed my car, but they sure made it a pleasant experience! And I would also expect the average person being towed to have an excuse as to why they parked illegally and blame the tow company instead of themselves.

  • MamaToreen April 23, 2015, 8:32 am

    She reminds me of so many pretty girls in school who thought that they could mistreat those less attractive than themselves.

    • Yellow Rose April 23, 2015, 6:07 pm

      She ‘ain’t’ pretty, she just looks that way.

  • Pamela April 23, 2015, 8:52 am

    I can understand her frustration over her car being towed but I don’t get why she felt the need to take it out on the person working behind the counter. That woman was just doing her job. Britt McHenry may have a pretty face but she has a very ugly heart.

    Also, despite having a degree, she isn’t very smart. Once she was advised that she was being recorded, she should have zipped her lip. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if a public figure is caught on tape behaving badly, it won’t be long before it goes viral.

    I’m not sure if she should be fired but a one week suspension doesn’t seem like a suitable punishment for verbally attacking somebody for no reason.

  • Margaret April 23, 2015, 8:52 am

    The company in question supposedly has an F rating by the BBB. There are lots of complaints on Yelp about illegal towing, i.e., perfectly legally parked cars being towed away. I don’t know if Ms. McHenry’s car was legally parked or not – it would certainly make me angry if my car was essentially stolen.

    However, berating the clerk won’t fix that. It would be smarter to refuse to use businesses which employ that towing service and let those businesses know why.

    • Abby April 23, 2015, 11:03 am

      Several news articles have said the reporter left her car overnight in a parking lot that has a sign saying, do not leave your car here overnight; it will be towed. The tow company may or not have a reputation for unfairness (although, I question the credibility of those making the complaints, because they probably aren’t unbiased), but in this case, it seems documented that the reporter ignored the signs and this was a valid tow.

  • vjcole April 23, 2015, 8:53 am

    Sorry, but I’m not buying the whole “it was an intense and stressful situation”. People who are basically decent don’t turn into raving, profanity-spewing maniacs and launch personal attacks on other people just because their cars are towed. This is a textbook example of feeling superior and entitled just because you happen to be on TV. And for the record – I doubt her college degree had much to do with her being hired on ESPN – anyone ever see a female reporter on that network that wasn’t physically attractive?

  • Matt April 23, 2015, 8:56 am

    I don’t condone her behavior, but I understand her frustration. Certain towing companies are the scum of the earth. In some jurisdictions, the towing companies don’t even need a ticket issued first. They can cruise around looking for violations and tow the car to the city lot, where the attendant slaps a ticket on it. Even if you appeal the ticket and win, you still have to pay the towing and storage fees, which can be >$300. And the attendants can be very rude, because you’re not the customer. It’s all very frustrating.

    I once had my car towed in this fashion because I had the audacity to park on a street during the last 30 minutes of a snow emergency after it had stopped snowing for hours and the street had already been plowed. When I went to retrieve my car, the line was ~50 people long, and consisted entirely of college students and minorities. I appealed the ticket and won, but was still out $170 in towing charges and 3 trips to city hall. It’s a predatory system that disproportionately affects low-income people.

  • Wild Irish Rose April 23, 2015, 9:04 am

    I have absolutely zero patience for people who abuse others based on the job they do (or for pretty much any reason). Maybe if TV Girl hadn’t parked illegally (which she must have for her car to have been towed), she wouldn’t have had to debase herself by redeeming it from the tow lot. Horrors! Kudos to the clerk for maintaining her cool–I’ll bet she has to tolerate stuff like this far more often than TV Girl ever had to think about doing. As for having a degree–obviously it’s not from Charm School.

    Another thing that bothers me about this is the public “apology.” She isn’t sorry she abused the clerk; she’s sorry the video found its way to public viewing, she got in trouble at work for it, and now everyone has seen her true colors. She should go to the clerk and apologize sincerely and profusely. A public apology isn’t about the wrong she did. It’s about her “image.” What a mean and hateful person.

  • Vicky April 23, 2015, 9:04 am

    It is never acceptable to treat individuals the way that Britt McHenry does here regardless of whether you are in the public eye or not. Now that said, I do question whether the “punishment” fits in that is it harsher than what the average person who is not in the public eye would receive, if they were caught as well.

    There was a television show on A&E awhile back called “Parking Wars” – it dealt with tow operators, meter maids, parking enforcement, etc. Some of the individuals who broke the law and had to go get their cars from the tow lot were terrible to the people working there who were doing their job. Its not their fault that the car owner was stupid and broke the law. Yet they would get reamed in much the same way as occurred here. I’m also sure that none of the people who spoke disrespectfully lost their jobs or were suspended. Yet they were just as vile as Britt was.

    So that begs the question: are we treating her worse because she is in the public eye? Does she deserve a consequence that the majority of people who behave in the same way don’t get? Or should we expect that everyone who behaves in this manner gets suspended from their jobs for one week regardless? Don’t get me wrong – the woman here is despicable. I wouldn’t watch her or support her in anyway. However, why is she being treated differently/more harshly than the many people who do engage in this same behavior?

    • CW April 23, 2015, 10:51 am

      I agree with you! Plenty of regular people throw hissy fits and behave atrociously and no one bats an eye. The moment someone of “celebrity” status does it, everyone demands an apology. I didn’t watch the video, but I’ve been cussed out by enough customers in my service days to assume what she said was rude and uncalled for.

    • Michelle April 23, 2015, 11:05 am

      @Vicky- I saw that show several times and while the customers/towed people got nasty and rude, I can’t remember any of the people who went to the office* insult the agents so personally. The comments about the attendant’s teeth and she needs to lose weight, etc. Those comments serve no purpose except to try to humiliate and upset the attendant because Britt McHenry parked illegally and got towed.

      *The people on the street were different. They would call the meter maids/parking enforcement people names and then run in their house or drive-by and shout insults. That’s one scary job, especially when the boot teams tried to boot cars in front of home and they owners would run out and threaten them or say they were going back into the house to get “something”. Plus the friends that would shout and warn the owners.

      • Karen L April 23, 2015, 1:39 pm

        Polite, considerate people probably don’t park in ways that get their cars towed. Tow companies pretty much only deal with jerks.

        • Rebecca April 23, 2015, 10:51 pm

          I don’t know about that. I was towed once because I parked right outside the store where I worked at 5 AM (I was coming in at that time for an early morning stocking shift). I parked right in front because I didn’t feel safe wandering around at 5 AM in the dark, so I intended to go out and move it just before 7, which is when the “no parking from 7-9” rule took effect. But it was supremely busy at work and I completely forgot. Went outside and my car was gone.

          But it’s never pleasant to realize your car’s been towed, and those tow companies must deal with a disproportionate number of angry people. There is no excuse for taking it out on the employee who is just working the job they’ve been hired to do, to put food on the table like everyone else.

    • MamaToreen April 23, 2015, 11:21 am

      Her job should punish her because she tried to use her position as a weapon. When I worked for the IRS, that was punishable by termination, no appeal.

  • Tracy W April 23, 2015, 9:05 am

    I think the etiquette issues associated with this are quite clear, don’t swear, don’t lose your temper, don’t insult other people, no matter how furious you might be. The problems are all in implementation.

  • Michelle April 23, 2015, 9:08 am

    I think she should have been suspended without pay and maybe even put on a final warning. She left her car in parking lot overnight, it was towed and she had to pay to recover it. There was several signs stating “do not leave your car overnight or it will be towed”. She chose to ignore them. SHE was at fault and she took her frustration and anger out on an employee *and* made it personal.

    She must have skipped manners and etiquette class when she was at college.

    • Vrinda April 23, 2015, 11:34 am

      They don’t even teach that in college anymore. Years ago, women’s colleges had courses where the students were taught how to dress, wear their hair, pick the right colors and outfits, apply and remove their makeup, how to speak, posture, etiquette, etc. The girls got grades and college credit for it.

      • Wild Irish Rose April 23, 2015, 2:02 pm

        @Vrinda: How interesting. Not that I think this isn’t a great idea, but why just the girls? Or were there similar courses for the male of the species as well?

        • Lerah99 April 23, 2015, 4:23 pm

          It was for the girls because it was teaching them how to properly prepare to entertain in their home and how to act as a guest at other people’s home.

          The focus was on how to best compliment your husband and be an asset to him in his career. So if he brought the boss home for dinner, you knew how to whip up an impressive meal quickly and how to put yourself together to make the best impression.

          It was a pre-women’s lib era institution when it was commonly believed that women were really pursuing their MRS degree rather than a BA.

  • just4kicks April 23, 2015, 9:09 am

    When I first saw this on the news, I thought that the ESPN employee was muttering to herself or to a friend standing near her.
    I saw it again later, when one of my kids pulled it up on their phone, and to my total amazement realized she was saying those awful things directly to the woman who was helping her.
    My jaw literally dropped!
    I don’t know how the employee stayed SO calm….Good for her, but sadly, something tells me she is used to dealing with this at her job.
    Everyone has bad days and gets frustrated in long lines, but this is just beyond rude and obnoxious.

    I have worked customer service jobs, and usually most days enjoyed dealing with the public.
    There are some real doozies I’ve encountered over the years.
    I’ve been screamed at, sexually harassed, been called both the “B” and “C” word, called a f@&!ing r@tard etc.
    I just told this story to my folks over the weekend, and think I may have posted it on here too, but in short: my husband got downsized a few years ago and I took a night/weekend job at a gas station/convience store about five minutes away from our home.
    The Powerball that week was at a record high, 400 something million, and we had a lot of people coming to buy tickets.
    As I’m closing up one night, a very well to do couple come in and buy drinks and fill their gas tank.
    They were driving a beautiful Mercedes-Benz, and were dressed very and both had expensive jewelry on.
    They decided to throw $20 in on lottery tickets, and as they are printing, I’m making small talk with them, saying (with a laugh and a smile) …. “I’m not greedy, I don’t need the $420 million….just a million or two would be great!!!”
    The “lady” looks me up and down, (I’m working at a GAS station, so obviously am not dressed in my Sunday best), and says very condescingly….”Yes……I’m SURE a million dollars WOULD get you out of government housing, now wouldn’t it?!?”
    After I picked my jaw off the ground I said, “Excuse ME! My husband and I and our four children actually live in a very nice renovated farmhouse about five minutes up the road!!!”
    She sniffed and said “yeah….right…Ok….” and grabbed her tickets and flounced out.
    May I add, there is nothing wrong for truly needing help now and again, or government housing for that matter, but the WAY she said it and looked at me like a booger she just picked out of her nose, was so demeaning and obnoxious.

    • April Obe April 23, 2015, 11:15 am

      Your story literally made my jaw drop. Holy cow…. may we never be as low class as her…

    • Dyan April 23, 2015, 11:35 am

      you know this story made me so mad, HOW dare someone say stuff like that to a person they don’t know…
      Just for you handled it so good..
      I HOPE her and her husband lose their jobs and MONEY…CREEPS

      • BarbH April 23, 2015, 2:30 pm

        Wow. You actively hope for a woman and her husband to lose their home and become destitute because they were rude to a cashier? It’s a bit of an overreaction, don’t you think?

        • Dyan April 23, 2015, 3:08 pm

          no sorry BarbH …I am sure this woman has been rude and mean to MORE than one cashier…RUDE RUDE horrible woman

        • just4kicks April 23, 2015, 4:19 pm

          Being on the receiving end of her tasteless and classless comments, maybe a good stiff audit from the IRS would do the trick! 😉

      • just4kicks April 23, 2015, 4:26 pm

        @April and Dyan: I was floored at her comments as well, just so rude!
        There was another night when the town “gay divorcee’ “, who always made no attempt to hide she always had a “thing” for my husband (he coached her son in baseball for years, and I used to get such a laugh after every game, she would need to speak to my hubby about something, she damn near batted her false eyelashes off a few times!!!), came in and (damn it!) recognized me and cocked her head to the side, pouted out her bottom lip and said, “awwwww….you’re working at a GAS STATION now???”
        I gritted my teeth and said, “yes…those darn kids of mine INSIST on eating EVERY DAY!!!”

        • Aje April 24, 2015, 8:47 am

          Maybe it’s because of the economy… I know a million people who are smart, have degrees, training and just so much potential but because of many circumstances work at gas stations or waitressing or flipping burgers. It doesn’t mean anything- they’re not wasting their potential, or low class or whatever. Some of the best and funniest people I’ve ever met worked with me at a gas station.

          One of the immigrants from my Dads work once said, “You know, a lot of people at this company treat us badly because we’re African workers. Cheap labor. We may be poor but we’re actually very intelligent people. I speak six languages.”

          • just4kicks April 25, 2015, 5:01 am

            @Aje: I agree with your comments completely.
            I have a degree in English, which while I was single or before we had children, I could work a 12 hour day, or have hours that weren’t set in stone.
            Fast forward 18 or so years, with four kids with different schedules, and a husband who travels frequently for his job….Well picking up a job for extra cash in my field isn’t that easy!
            The job I had before the gas station was unloading boxes at Target at four in the morning, getting home from work just in time to make the sure the kids were up and ready for school.
            I can’t work a typical 9-5, due to someone needing to be home for my younger kids after school.

          • just4kicks April 25, 2015, 5:11 am

            I just thought of a very nice man who used to stop into the gas station I worked at every night on his way home.
            He was always filthy (from his job as a laborer), and one night, one of my kids called me for help on a English assignment. I didn’t realize this man was standing at the counter, as I continued to give my kid the meaning and subtext on a book he was having trouble interpreting for a assignment.
            I got off the phone as soon as I saw him and apologized profusely.
            He smiled and said, “My goodness!!! Beowulf, huh?!? When I was a professor, I HATED teaching Beowulf!!!”
            I said, I didn’t know you were a professor!!!
            He said he was for many years, and got downsized where he taught one year before he would’ve been able to retire and collect his pension.
            His wife had a terminal illness, so he said he had to go back to manual labor and join a union to be able to get good insurance for his wife.
            He and I had lovely discussions on literature every time he came in…..which sometimes led to some very strange looks from other people.
            Pun definitely intended…..don’t judge a book by its cover, people!!!

    • Rebecca April 23, 2015, 3:05 pm

      Hmm. Another example of why class has nothing to do with money.

    • Rebecca April 23, 2015, 10:53 pm

      And even if you did live in government housing, there was no need for the woman to be so snotty about it.

      • just4kicks April 24, 2015, 7:38 am

        @Rebecca: Amen.

  • LonelyHound April 23, 2015, 9:14 am

    I think a suspension is completely warranted. I am tempted to say McHenry should be fired for being verbally abusive to someone just trying to do their job, but without knowing what went on in McHenry’s life at that time I cannot pass judgment. I know she was eating out, but I have been taken out to “pity dinners” where we relish good food to be an emotional Band-Aid. All this aside, under NO circumstance should McHenry have verbally abused the attendant like this. You are having a rough time? You can either exhibit grace under pressure or throw a tantrum. It is a pity she chose to throw a tantrum. I could even give her a few frustrated rants if she stopped, recognized the attendant was trying to help and being fairly polite, apologized, and then continue in a civil manner. She did none of this. Instead she threw and tantrum like a spoiled brat. You may have a fancy education, but all that book learning cannot impart to you the manners and grace that attendant has. Sorry.

    I also give no quarter because she did not apologize until after she got caught. It would be one thing if she had called the next day to apologize, but she did not. She did not apologize until ESPN put the pressure on. That is supremely disappointing. Not surprising, just disappointing.

  • Miss K April 23, 2015, 9:20 am

    It’s one thing to fuss about the service or how you’ve been treated. It’s quite another to personally attack someone.

    • Dee April 23, 2015, 4:46 pm

      You’re right on the money, Miss K. This isn’t an example of someone trying to get some satisfaction from poor or abusive service, it’s a story of a person who freely indulges in character assassination, even when completely unwarranted. At no time does the reporter say that the towing was illegal, or that she had parked legally. She seems to accept that she did park illegally but didn’t like the receiving the punishment, and instead of being just grumpy or berating herself she goes off on a person who has nothing to do with her predicament. This is a person who does not take responsibility for her actions and feels the world owes her more than others are owed, due to her being extra special. A week’s suspension is not enough but the channel is likely gaining from all this publicity so her chances of being fired are slim to none. She’s more valuable now that she’s not just the blonde bimbo stereotype they originally hoped for, but a nasty personality with the potential for bringing controversy and free publicity to the channel.

  • JWH April 23, 2015, 9:34 am

    A couple thoughts:

    * That towing company has a particularly shady reputation. Ms. McHenry’s personal attacks were rude, but it’s also possible her car was wrongly towed. If a car is wrongly towed, a person’s likely to be in a, shall we say, less than mannerly mode. OTOH, there’s no need for attacking a person the way Ms. McHenry did. There are ways to get a point across w/o those kinds of nasty attacks.

    * Did the two company clerk say anything to provoke Ms. McHenry’s remarks? I’

  • Auntbee81 April 23, 2015, 9:37 am

    What troubles me about this incident the most is that the subject of this video clip never [apparently] considers the object of her wrath to be worthy of basic respect. Due to an accident of birth, this reporter believes it is OK to disparage others who may not have had the advantages of an affluent childhood (dental/orthodontia) higher education, etc. I understand being upset that your car has been towed, but there is no excuse for the tirade unleashed on this employee. Even worse, it is symptomatic of an arrogance that is all too common in this region, blaming those less fortunate for their own circumstances. Even if the employee responded rudely, the reporter’s comments were too personal, and unrelated to the issue – her own towed vehicle.

  • DGS April 23, 2015, 9:37 am

    What a classless, tacky, entitled brat! Show me how you treat service industry personnel, and I’ll tell you who you are as a human being.

  • Angel April 23, 2015, 9:37 am

    She is upset about her car being towed but that doesn’t give her the right to cuss out and verbally abuse the staff. I have no sympathy whatsoever for people who attack customer service employees. I think that especially due to the nature of her job, being on the news, she ought to be fired. And should not be allowed to work in television again.

    Of course that’s not what’s going to happen. She was suspended for one week and allowed to return to her job on ESPN. But as Judge Judy says, “Beauty fades, dumb is forever.” I have a feeling this isn’t the last time we will see this embarrassment rise to the surface again. Because that’s what she is, she’s pathetic and she is an embarrassment to all online news correspondents. And she is NOT SMART. If she saw the camera rolling she should have shut her mouth right then and there.

  • technobabble April 23, 2015, 9:39 am

    Not that anybody has the right to say things like that to anybody, but… um… she’s a sports reporter? As far as I’m aware, that job doesn’t require a MENSA-level IQ either.

    Also, her car was impounded probably because she was parked illegally. Does she think the rules don’t apply to her because she’s on TV? Obviously so, but that doesn’t mean she gets to take her frustration out on a lady who is just trying to do her job. I hope her Twitter apology is seen as not good enough, because it’s not. You don’t get to say hurtful things to people and then brush it off with, “I was stressed out.” That’s not appropriate and not OK.

    • Wild Irish Rose April 23, 2015, 2:05 pm

      “Not that anybody has the right to say things like that to anybody, but… um… she’s a sports reporter? As far as I’m aware, that job doesn’t require a MENSA-level IQ either.”

      How is making a remark like this any better than what she did? Honest work is honest work, no matter what it is, and plenty of truly intelligent people occupy jobs that don’t “require a MENSA-level IQ.”

      Demeaning a person on the basis of his or her job is mean.

  • Library Diva April 23, 2015, 9:46 am

    Her suspension is what I meant in the thread on public shaming about employers finding ways to deal with these situations between “nothing” and “fired.” I think that suspending her was the right move. As an on-camera reporter, she is a semi-public figure, and her behavior reflects on ESPN at all times. It’s funny how many people court the positive side of that kind of fame, but ignore the drawbacks. I don’t know if it’s still the case in my area, but about 15 years ago, our television news anchors had a code of conduct to adhere to. I don’t know what all it entailed, but I specifically remember that they weren’t permitted to go to bars and get drunk. And this was even before the days that an anchor’s drunken behavior might surface on YouTube, before “social media” was even an expression.

    I think I’ve told this story before: last season, a man got drunk at a pro football game and slid down a railing in the stadium. He fell and landed on someone else, who was more or less unharmed. The man was a graphic designer at an ad agency, but he got fired in the wake of the media storm that followed. Maybe there was more to the story — maybe they were just looking for an excuse — but I thought that it was unfair if they fired him for a single incident. He did not work in the public eye and was not attending the game through the company. He didn’t rape, kill or injure anyone — he did a stupid thing, and certainly deserved to face consequences, but I think that was too severe. (He did go to trial for reckless endangerment and a variety of charges, and I think he was found guilty).

    • Jennifer April 23, 2015, 11:09 am

      I wouldn’t call two bulging discs and a herniated disc “more or less unharmed”. A neurosurgeon testified in the trial that if the defendant had fallen inches in one direction or the other, then the victim could have been paralyzed or killed. The guy was convicted of two misdemeanors – reckless endangerment and assault.

  • Cora April 23, 2015, 9:51 am

    For real, jae. This sort of thing can be damaging too, depending on your audience. My mother, who is ragingly insecure. spent my entire childhood and adolescence being smiling and gracious in public, then going home and talking s**t about absolutely everybody, I mean really gratuitously nasty stuff, right in front of me. I grew up thinking that this kind of two-faced-ness was normal; that I was being watched all the time by people who would get together in private at snipe about me. (When, in fact, most people were just living their lives and not paying any attention at all to the fact that I was not perfect). It took me SO LONG to unlearn all of that crap, but I’m better for it. What this stupid woman doesn’t understand is that tearing people down for no reason at all does NOT make you a better person. If it takes being fired from ESPN to learn that she’s not better than everyone else, so be it.

  • Linda April 23, 2015, 9:53 am

    When she uttered the, “I’m on tv.” bit, she brought her job into it.

    • Mary April 23, 2015, 12:12 pm

      That was my first thought also!

  • Rebecca M. April 23, 2015, 9:56 am

    It’s no wonder she places such a high value on looks considering that she only has her job because of them. ESPN would probably say they hired her based on her sports knowledge, but I think we’re all smart enough to see through that one.

    I wonder if maybe there’s some jealousy behind it… if she envies somebody who has value beyond the physical. She probably works very hard to maintain her look, and I bet it’s exhausting and stressful. If she were a good person, I’d say good for her for finding a market for her “gifts”. Her look isn’t particularly natural, but she is lovely. But she’s clearly not a good person, or a very clever one.

    She should be scared. ESPN can always find another bimbo. One who won’t embarrass them.

    • Devin April 23, 2015, 1:39 pm

      I’m shocked at the language you use to describe this woman. We are discussing the etiquette of making personal attacks and you decide that her behavior is abhorrent, but it’s okay for you to call her a bimbo? That sounds like a personal attack unrelated to the issue….pot meet kettle.

      an attractive but empty-headed young woman, especially one perceived as a willing sex object.

      • Vrinda April 23, 2015, 3:34 pm

        McHenry certainly is empty-headed.

    • BarbH April 23, 2015, 2:15 pm

      Those are some interesting assumptions.

      How do you know she only got her job because of her looks?
      How do you know she works very hard to maintain her look? Also, if she has to work hard for it, it’s not really a “gift” is it?

      And, really, equating someones intelligence to their physical appearance? Would you be making the same sexist comments if it were a male reporter?

  • Lisa H. April 23, 2015, 10:00 am

    WOW! WOW!… Pretty on the outside, ugly on the inside.
    If you are going to be in the public sector and want to be respected, you need to behave respectfully. This applies to actors, politicians, sports players, etc.

  • mark April 23, 2015, 10:02 am

    Almost everyone has a public persona vs a private persona. In my case I’m more formal and reserved with my public persona. I tend to be more formally polite in particular. Whereas in my private personal I tend to be more casually polite.

    Her private persona seems to indicate she is rather conceited. I know I’m generalizing here but this seems quite common among very attractive people. And it really showed big time in this video.

    I think from a etiquette point of view the take away from this would be don’t let your anger rule you. If feel your anger is out of control it may be time to put yourself in a timeout. (Don’t forget virtually everyone carries a video camera nowadays everywhere, so anything you do can be caught on video.)

  • B April 23, 2015, 10:03 am

    Having lived in the area, I can tell you that this particular company is notorious for being, for lack of a better word, shady. Seek out their reviews online. Further, other news outlets (I’m not a fan of The Daily Mail) have admitted that the video tape had been “heavily edited.” So while it is never acceptable to make personal attacks on someone, it would be interesting to hear all of what the towing company employee was saying. With all of that said, the ESPN reporter comes across as a complete bore and should feel badly for her behavior. Should she lose her job/be suspended because of it? My opinion, no. Being a jerk in your personal life should not affect your professional life. ESPN is just watching out for their reputation.

    • MichelleP April 24, 2015, 10:13 am

      I have to respectfully disagree that being a jerk in your personal life should absolutely affect your professional life. ESPN has the right and obligation to watch out for their reputation. I used to work in a government setting and have family members who have as well, and we were told upfront that any indescretions in our personal lives were grounds for termination at our jobs.

  • Lerah99 April 23, 2015, 10:14 am

    I believe we have all had situations that made us angry.
    I believe we have all had moments where we didn’t comport ourselves well and were later ashamed of how we acted.

    That being said, in this life choices have consequences. Whatever your actions, willing or unwilling you will pay the price for those actions. And you don’t always get to say what that price will be.

    This woman believed she could take her anger and frustration out on a towing company clerk. She believed she could belittle the clerk. She believed she could make personal attacks on the clerk’s education, job choice, and appearance. In that moment, she was so angry and felt so self-righteous that she didn’t even care she was being filmed.

    Now, willing or unwilling she is going to pay the price for that.
    Which may mean internet shaming.
    Which means being suspended for a week.

    Considering how intense internet shaming can be, and how ugly her comments were, she might want to consider herself lucky. She wasn’t fired. Her home address hasn’t been posted. There has been nothing saying she’s suffered a barrage of death threats and rape threats.

    Mostly people just feel she is a thoughtless, vain, self-important, bore who showed her ugly personality to someone simply doing their job.

  • Jlh April 23, 2015, 10:17 am

    While what she said was horrible, I would like to see the uncut version. It wouldn’t excuse what she said, but it would be interesting to see what the attendant was saying to her also. There’s always three sides to a story. What she said, what the attendant said, and the full story. Right now we only see one side. Not to mention the fact that the attendant tried selling this video to every news outlet before finding one and is now trying to get her 15 minutes of fame. Or the fact that the towing company has more than double the complaints of any other towing company in the area, and have been accused numerous times for towing illegally and towing cars with children and animals in the car and not stopping when confronted by the parents/owners.

  • AMC April 23, 2015, 10:20 am

    A few things to note here: First, she wasn’t fired from her job, she was suspended for one week. Though, depending on what state you live in, you can pretty much be fired for anything. If you live in a “right to work” state like me, your employer does not have to provide any justification at all for termination.
    Second, she has a high-profile job, so even off-camera, she is acting as a representative of her employer.
    Third, she actually invoked her job title in the video: “I’m in the news, sweetheart!” So I think that makes it even more appropriate that her employer responded.
    Fourth, (and I can’t emphasize this enough) what a jerk! Even if the tow company was crooked or wrong for impounding her car, there are still ways to approach such a situation that are still respectful, reasonable, polite, and assertive. Attacking someone personally does nothing but escalate an already tense situation.

  • Staceiam April 23, 2015, 10:24 am

    if she had been in any other profession firing may be too harsh. However, since she represents the network, i think she should be fired. No one will ever watch her again without this incident crossing their mind. I’m sure she won’t have any trouble finding another job, with her college degree, perfect weight, and matching set of teeth!

  • Ashley April 23, 2015, 10:49 am

    So from other sources, I’ve heard that this particular towing company does have a reputation for being, well, less than reputable. Towing cars that it can be proven shouldn’t have been towed and were not parked illegally. So there IS a chance that she wasn’t parked illegally. Just throwing that out there.

    I also feel like the video was edited out of order, as some people suggested. She does seem genuinely surprised when she finds out she’s on video, and it’s quite unlikely she’d keep up her tirade after finding out she was being filmed.

    That said, I lost all respect for the ESPN lady when she tried to bring her television career into this, and went off on someone for having a job that she perceived as lower than her own.

    I’ve worked at a bowling alley, a gas station, the YMCA as a janitor, a sandwich shop, in retail at an office supply store, and at a loan office. Not in that order, and for varying lengths of time. Most of them aren’t considered “real” jobs by a lot of people. I frankly don’t understand why. Are YOU going to go figure out why the pin machine isn’t resetting? Are YOU going to stand around and put up with people who literally just throw money at you, say “$20 on pump five” and then walk out? Are YOU going to clean up the AWFUL messes people leave in the bathrooms? Are YOU going to make 20 sandwiches for your company party? Etc, etc, etc. Someone has to do them, don’t be rude to people just trying to make a living because YOU perceive the job to be beneath you or whatever else.

    I make every effort to be as patient as possible with people in every place I encounter because I’ve been on the receiving end of people who are having a “bad day”. I’ve had people cuss at me for their order not being ready even though I literally got there two minutes before they came in to pick up the order and could have had no possible involvement in it. I’ve had people go OFF on me because the entire Wisconsin Lottery ticket printing system was offline (she came behind the counter and everything, I had to call the police!!). The worst of the worst was when I was a janitor and I’d have men wink at me and tell me they left me a “surprise” in the locker room to clean up.

    There’s a LOT of gross people in this world who treat people like s*** because of their jobs, and it sucks. I don’t ever want to put anyone through what I’ve gone through, and it disgusts me when I see ANYONE putting someone through the same, and trying to make it sound like they are better than someone because they happen to be on TV/a CEO/Whatever else.

    • Michelle April 23, 2015, 3:40 pm

      If I could give you a standing ovation, I would. Well said.

    • just4kicks April 24, 2015, 7:49 am

      @Ashley: Standing ovation from me as well!!!
      You are absolutely correct in working what people don’t consider “real jobs”.
      Your work history is very similar to mine, and I share with you being looked upon as somehow a not worthy human being, just because you clean floors, or print lottery tickets.
      When I worked at a gas station, there was a crabby old man who would spend about 50.00 every day on lotto tickets, and got a sick enjoyment out of reading off the numbers so fast I couldn’t keep up, and then calling me every name in the book if some of them printed wrong numbers.
      I find it very sad when people get their kicks from making others feel small and worthless.
      Calling me a f@cking r@tard isn’t going to make the computer which won’t accept your debit card work any faster, or make a cup of “Jamaica Mountain blueberry” coffee magically appear when there is none left.

      • Ashley April 27, 2015, 11:05 am

        And, I’m also willing to admit, yes, there are times when I’m a customer and I do get frustrated when the whole system goes down and it might lead to me sighing a little bit, but I always make it clear to the employee that I KNOW it’s not their fault, I’ve BEEN there, and I’m mainly sighing because I know it’s not an easy fix and I know that they are in for a long day with people less patient than myself.

        It’s just so gross the things people put other people through just because their job title is something like “sandwich maker” or “custodian”.

        Since this was originally posted, I’ve seen the unedited footage, and Brit McHenry was getting attacked verbally by the woman who worked at the towing place, so this whole situation could have been handled better all around, but it still just grosses me out when people act like certain jobs are beneath them.

        • just4kicks April 28, 2015, 7:19 am

          @Ashley: I think it should be mandatory for kids in high school to work at a fast food place or be a janitor for a while.
          My two oldest, who I have tried to instill good manners in, ( especially in public ) both worked at a restaurant for two years. One was a food runner the other a dishwasher.
          The son who was the food runner used to come home just gobsmacked at the lack of manners and common courtesy of some of the folks he waited on.

  • Vic April 23, 2015, 10:53 am

    This person is directly in the public eye. In her job, she relies on her viewers to trust her. The effect her behavior has isn’t the same as the effect the behavior of someone in another type of job would have. For someone in an office job, for example, I think a temporary suspension would be adequate. However, I feel that she’s never going to have the same measure of trust or respect from viewers again. I think termination is warranted in this particular situation.

    • Devin April 23, 2015, 1:43 pm

      But just think, she reports on people who have held on to their careers though they have beaten their wives on camera, been convicted of murder, or convicted of dog fighting. Compared to them, she’s still a shining star. It seems as though the ESPN viewership is very forgiving of these transgressions.

      • Vic April 23, 2015, 7:35 pm

        I don’t think the majority of the viewers would forgive those transgressions. I don’t think any sane person would. But that doesn’t negate the fact that the person reporting on these occurrences has shown that she feels she’s above the average person. Why would anyone ever trust her reports again? If I turned on the tv and saw her face on the screen now, my first instinct would be to turn the channel. People who take on a role where they are willingly in the public eye are held to a higher standard of behavior. More than career has been ruined when a celebrity starts believing his own press. I think she’s going to need to do some serious groveling if she wants to get her career back on track.

  • Lee April 23, 2015, 11:07 am

    After this video went viral, it came to light that the video was actually edited by the towing company before it was released. This leads me to believe that the reporter’s words may have been taken out of context and she was responding to harassment by the towing company clerk. That of course does not excuse any of the horrible things she said, but without the whole story, I think we should be careful before judging her.

    She did apologize and I think the suspension was enough.

    • Jewel April 23, 2015, 1:37 pm

      Her comments might have been re-arranged or even taken out of context, but she DID say those statements, which were incredibly ugly. Her behavior is a liability for ESPN and she needs to be “allowed the opportunity to further her career with a different organization”.

  • April Obe April 23, 2015, 11:18 am

    I think my problem with this is that ultimately it doesn’t matter what is going on in your life and the circumstances that are stressing you out. You still can’t hurt our lash at other people who have no blame whatsoever.

    That’s why if you’re having a terrible day at home and you call your sister and make her cry… it may help her to understand you if you explain your situation but it still doesn’t excuse your behavior.

    If a company has an employee representing them and their reputation and the employee acts inappropriately, they have every right to fire them. It could hurt their company

  • Jessica April 23, 2015, 11:21 am

    I get this all the time at work, I am a bouncer at a Maccas restaurant in a busy nightclub district in Australia, we have four guards on most four nights of the week, I am the only female so I get a bit of flack anyway, this is where everyone comes when their night has been ended by fights, kicked out of clubs or closing time and they are always unhappy and angry. We get people who fought earlier in the night meet up again and start up the brawls again, we have people damage property and overdoeses ect. I have been stabbed, cut, covered in vomit, blood spat on me, hit, insulted and death threats and even called an idiot by the maccas manager! I have been working there since early feb. I have had people talk down to me a LOT, especially the uni students on wed nights. I ask them not to sit where the food is served and they say ‘who are you to tell me what to do you loser’ or ‘I am studying engineering, or teaching or finance or whatever’. They big note themselves, telling me to get a real job or telling me I must be too stupid for uni, pretty much what was said to this girl. Not one of them stop to think about the reality. I had a family and studied full time not long ago. My husband left me and got custody of the kids. I work that job to support myself to finish the last year of law school so I can be comfortable enough to have my sons back with me and I also study security and counter terrorism part time at a different uni both via distance/on campus workshops. People tend to judge before they know what someones life is really like.

  • Dyan April 23, 2015, 11:38 am

    OK car got towed…she MUST have parked where she SHOULD not have…
    this girl really thinks she is something…NOPE I say fire her!
    and I have been in stressful situations worse than a towing of a car, and would NEVER talk to someone like that.

  • Maribel April 23, 2015, 11:49 am

    I think there is a difference between being short/rude to someone because you’re under stress and showing what you really think . Her comments reflect her general contempt for those she considers to be beneath her (for various reasons). I’m not sure she should be fired although I’m leaning that way. Her words reveal a side of her that is very, very problematic.

  • MrsL April 23, 2015, 12:06 pm

    Whether or not the towing company has a poor reputation is not really the issue here. Brit’s behaviour is. I’ve been following this story for a while now and it seems that she had parked her car at a local Chinese resteraunt that was known for happy hour specials. The place has a private parking lot that is reserved for customers only and she left her car there after she had finished. The company, like a lot of other businesses with limited parking, has signs up warning that vehicles will be towed and that vehicles are not permitted to park there overnight. So that explains why her car was justly towed.
    Edited or not, she did make those comments to the employee and they were awful. She flaunted her degree and career and told this employee to fix her teeth and to lose weight. There is never an acceptable time to say things like that regardless of how stressed one may be.

  • lkb April 23, 2015, 12:13 pm

    As a “recovering journalist” (though, thankfully, only for newspapers, not for TV), I’d like to believe that this woman has committed professional Darwinism, at least in DC and/or for ESPN (ESPN needs sports reports in DC?…well, whatever…).

    Occasionally in my city, which is a major TV market, a news anchor or reporter will do something stupid like this and it haunts them for years. I, for one, always remember them as, “Oh yeah, s/he’s the one who did X, what a jerk!” Let’s see what happens when her contract comes up for renewal. If it’s soon, she probably won’t be around long.

    Unfortunately, cynical me knows the power of a pretty face. Media is all about looks and “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

    I don’t think much of her apology. Sure, we all have our moments when we are not “the best version of ourselves”. When I snap at someone, it’s usually just a one-off comment (okay, maybe two). She kept it going even across the parking lot when she “flipped the bird”. She had plenty of time to get hold of herself, especially once she knew she was on camera.

    I salute the towing company employee for remaining dignified.

  • Amara April 23, 2015, 12:23 pm

    To me, it doesn’t matter that the towing company is shady, dirty or worse. It also doesn’t matter to me if the employee was rude, nasty or baiting the woman. These are all situations, variations of which we read about daily on E-hell, where what happens that is out of your control should not impact what choices you make that are in your control.

    In other words, we all face situations in public or private, with family/friends or co-workers, with people doing their jobs that we need to interact with where there are difficulties. We learn here on Ehell how to take the polite approach in spite of these difficulties. We learn how to handle ourselves and how to behave politely in all situations because that is, uniformly, the one thing we can always control.

    So this woman, regardless of how right she was or how stressed out she was, did or should have had enough control of herself to act, at the very least, politely icy toward the employee. To do what she did was beyond rude, and to bring in breathtakingly personal insults was … well, I don’t know what word I would use for it. If she worked for me she would have been fired instantly. If someone cannot control themselves to the point where they are likely to fling such filth about when under stress they are not someone I want any connection with–and certainly not in a professional sense.

    Her day will come, though. She may be pretty enough to keep her job now but as the old saying goes, and as someone above noted, “pretty fades, dumb stays.” Or perhaps I should say “pretty fades, nasty stays.”

  • b-rock April 23, 2015, 12:48 pm

    This same person also engaged in a Twitter war (well, battle at least) with a friend of a friend, a lawyer in Arkansas. I believe you could Google the details, if you like. I saw screen shots of the Twitter comments on both sides, in which this reporter was making similar comments as were seen in the video, questioning the lawyer’s educational level, strongly implying the she (the reporter) was better because of her public face and her job. This was not a one-off, and regardless of how the tape was edited, unless they pieced together one word blips to create statements out of whole cloth, the situation does not justify some of the things she said. Generally speaking, perhaps your personal opinions shouldn’t affect your job, but when your job is being the public face of a company, I think that no longer applies.