After everyone watched ESPN reporter Britt McHenry channel Regina George at a towing company employee, she walked back her behavior. She apologized on Twitter, and the Worldwide Leader dropped a one-week suspension on her. When something like this happens, other, smaller items usually emerge to reveal more about the person; what we’ve gleaned from McHenry’s items is that she seems to suck.
Item: In March, a woman on Twitter mused about the objectification of female reporters, and somehow found herself in a confusing argument with McHenry, who appeared to have misunderstood the original point. McHenry claimed the woman was just being “bitter.” The discussion went nowhere.
Item: We received an email from someone who credibly claims to have been a former classmate of McHenry’s at Northwestern:
Overall she was just very stuck up and stuck on herself. She would barely associate herself with most of us in the program. She asked one classmate who was cool with most folks “why do you still hang out with those Medilldos?” Most of us lived either in Evanston or not far from it in Chicago and there would be times I’d see her outside of class and she would just walk past me on the street without speaking. This wasn’t a huge program. Our incoming quarter was around 35-40 people and we’re spending 8 hours a day, 5 days a week together for the most part. She was in Medill’s DC program for the last quarter and it was well-known among most of the people there that she and another girl filmed fake stand ups for their reporter reels. Not long ago she got into a Facebook spat with a classmate whose wife is expecting a baby after she complained about having to see so many baby pictures in her newsfeed. At best, her work back then was mediocre and other people in the program with about the same skill set never landed jobs after graduating — on top of the many people with better skills who never found work either.
Item: We were sent a photo of McHenry posing with a Sarah Palin campaign sign—note the slogan—along with a photo of the one-time vice-presidential candidate. This isn’t to say that holding a photo of Sarah Palin is necessarily damning, mind you. There are any number of reasons you might do so, many of them just fine. But it is amusing.
Item: Back in December, McHenry quipped about the level of American soccer and drew the attention of MLSer Mike Magee.
Odell Beckham Jr. turned down playing for the US national soccer team for football. Example of why we'll never have European caliber soccer— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) December 14, 2014
@BrittMcHenry I've stumbled on some ridiculous tweets in my day but this one stood out. Thanks for the laugh Britt— Mike Magee (@magee9) December 15, 2014
@magee9 well at least you "stumbled" upon me. Can't say the same for you.— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) December 15, 2014
Item: Once the video blew up, “someone in McHenry’s camp” told MSNBC that the tape was edited—which is obvious when you watch it—but also admitted that any edits didn’t justify McHenry’s actions. The interesting thing here was the existence of her “camp.” (For perspective, note that neither Bill Simmons nor Keith Olbermann has a “camp.”)
None of this is a big deal in its own right. Added together, though, it makes for the portrait of the sort of person you’d expect to yell at and attempt to degrade a service worker who doesn’t deserve to get shit, even if she has to work for a lousy, greedy towing company.
Top photo: Getty Images
Was Britt McHenry rude as hell to you, or do you know something else interesting? Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.