By Travis Duncan
NBC Sports and NFL Network Sideline reporter Alex Flanagan wrote some interesting things this morning on her blog concerning a
disgraced highly publicized ESPN reporter by the name of Britt McHenry.
McHenry is someone most of us really had not heard of until a video of her berating a tow company clerk went viral.
In Ms. McHenry’s defense, I was once a victim of fraudulent towing and its no joking manner. But the hate spewed out by McHenry was just childish and shows a deeper narcissism, for which you the reader will need to be the judge….
The hate and the first grade bullying aside, as Alex Flanagan points out, when you are in the public role you are required to maintain a certain civility.
That’s probably something that Britt McHenry realizes now more than ever. Lesson learned. You would think.
But the idea that the one week suspension that ESPN gave her is some sort of discipline simply does jive with what we think of when we say workplace discipline.
For one, what exactly does a sideline reporter’s work week consist of?
Secondly, the suspension was covered by all major news outlets and further promoted McHenry as a personality and brand. Albeit a snippy blonde, educated good looking brand that ESPN’s demo won’t be able to turn away from or change that channel.
It’s a win-win for ESPN which most things usually are for the mothership.
Now if ESPN fires you, well you’re done. You’re career takes a hit. That’s discipline.
The whole story has been a web traffic smash for Twitter for sports websites everywhere.
Meanwhile her Twitter followers are now up to 116,000. It’s also the place where she lets you know straight off the bat that she played soccer and she has her masters from Northwestern.
But here is where I really have a problem with this whole situation. The 28-year-old ESPN reporter went from being relatively unknown to being a household name this past week after that video of her degrading the tow company employee went viral. “No publicity is bad publicity” seems truer today than ever before. In our oversaturated TV market, executives want people who stand out, ones that can move the needle. It seems like more often than not, they don’t care what’s behind what’s making the needle move. The outcome of McHenry’s insensitive behavior is a higher Q-rating, an increase in Twitter followers and an explosion of Google hits when you search her name on the internet
As a side note the Towing company involved in the incident released its own statement and they seem pretty ok with the whole thing.