Brenda Battel, a journalist for the Huron Daily Tribune, was caught on tape trashing Michigan Senate Republican candidate John James.
Looking to schedule a post-election interview with James on Wednesday, Battel left a message on the campaign’s voicemail.
“Hi, my name is Brenda Battel, I’m a reporter with the Huron Daily Tribune in Bad Axe, Michigan,” Battel said. “I’m looking to set up an appointment with Mr. James for some time on Wednesday for a phone interview regarding the election results.”
After leaving her contact information, Battel failed in her attempt to hang up her phone. With the phone still live and voicemail still recording, you can hear her say: “Man, if he beats her… Jesus! Fucking John James. That would suck! Whew I don’t think it’s going to happen though.”
James, a military veteran, is looking to unseat Democrat incumbent Debbie Stabanow. Polls show the race much closer than expected, including one that shows James within two points.
The Daily Caller first obtained the audio and received this comment from James’ campaign manager Tori Sachs: “It shows you that some media will do anything to keep the status quo and career politicians in power,” she said. “The liberal media can’t stand the idea of a job creator and combat veteran coming to Washington to shake up the system. This happened as we closed in within the margin of error.”
After the audio went viral, Battel was fired.
“I have listened to the voicemail left by Brenda Battel to Mr. James’ campaign, and find no reason to defend this behavior,” Huron Daily Tribune editor Kate Hessling said in a statement, adding, “Brenda Battel’s employment has been immediately terminated.”
“The Huron Daily Tribune sincerely apologizes to Mr. James and to the public,” her statement continued. “These statements do not represent the views of the Tribune as a whole, nor do they reflect the actions of a responsible journalist.”
The Washington Times reports that Battel has already taken down her LinkedIn and Facebook pages.