ESPN reporter Britt McHenry’s ‘Mean Girls’ routine evokes little sympathy

mchenry on show image www.goodgirlsgo (2)

ESPN has suspended reporter Britt McHenry after a video surfaced of her insulting a towing company clerk’s intelligence, job and appearance.

It seemed more like a scene from Mean Girls, as Deadline Hollywood suggested in its headline: “Mean Girl remarks caught on video.”

There she was, ESPN reporter Britt McHenry, in a sweatshirt and blonde bun, berating a towing company clerk after her car was towed from a parking lot in Arlington, Virginia. “I’m on television, and you’re in a f—ing trailer, honey,” she said.

“That’s why I have a degree and you don’t.” “Maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me, huh?” “Lose some weight, baby girl.”

It’s been a day since a video showing her lash-out lit up the internet. After it was leaked, ESPN responded, saying that the station has suspended her for one week. But, for many, that’s not enough.

People took to social media, calling her a “disastrous role model” and saying her rant did a “major disservice to female sports journalists.” Someone even invented the hashtag #firebrittmchenry.

One blogger created a poll asking whether she should be fired. Someone else launched an online petition to try to make sure that happens. Early Friday morning, it had more than 500 signatures.

McHenry, 28, from Mount Holly Township, New Jersey, got a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University. After she joined the network in 2014 from Washington’s WJLA, she was given high accolades by ESPN’s Senior Vice President and Director of News, Vince Doria.

“In a relatively short time, Britt has established a reputation for strong, aggressive reporting in the DC area, and an ability to land big interviews,” Doria said, according to CNN. “Her presence there will be a great benefit to ESPN’s newsgathering and, as with all of our bureau reporters, she will be assigned to high-profile stories around the country.”

The website, LiveLeaks, which posted the video online, said the incident at the towing company occurred on April 5. The next day, McHenry posted a comment on Twitter calling the company “corrupt,” according to news reports. She has since deleted it. On Thursday afternoon, she posted a statement, apologising for her behaviour.

“In an intense and stressful moment,” she wrote, “I allowed my emotions to get the best of me and said some insulting and regrettable things. As frustrated as I was, I should always choose to be respectful and take the high road. I am so sorry for my actions and will learn from this mistake.”

Some have come to her defence, arguing that although her rant was wrong, many others in shoes don’t behave much better.

There wasn’t a lot of love for the towing company either. Some thought Advanced Towing in Arlington, Virginia, had it coming.

Earlier this month, NBC Washington reported that one of the company’s trucks tried to tow a car while two children were inside.

“The car started to lift up,” one of the kids said. “I was like scared. I looked out the back and then saw the tow driver and then I opened the door a little bit and said, ‘wait, wait, wait.'”

To his credit, the driver relented. The company responded that the car was illegally parked and had tinted windows.

A similar incident occurred last year when it towed a car with a woman’s eight-year-old Golden Retriever still inside.

The company has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau and a 1.5 star rating on Yelp. But one Twitter user had a good point:

” Someone defended Britt McHenry by saying the towing company had terrible Yelp reviews. Who would give positive reviews to a TOWING COMPANY!?”

The Washington Post


Henry Sapiecha

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *