John James

A Michigan newspaper reporter lost her job after she accidentally left a disparaging voicemail for Republican Senate candidate John James.

James, a 37-year-old Iraq war veteran, is running against Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow for her Senate seat.

James has been virtually ignored by the news media, probably because he is a Republican.

Brenda Battel, a staff writer for The Huron Daily Tribune in Michigan, left a voicemail for James requesting an interview.

At the end of her message, Battel thought she hung up the phone but the call was not disconnected. Battel can be heard making disparaging comments about James on the voicemail recording.

"If he beats her... Jesus that would suck," Battel said. She also said James was "possessed" and she hopes he doesn't win the Senate race because he's hard to get ahold of.

Brenda Battel, John James

The Huron Daily Tribune released a statement on Monday announcing Battel had been terminated.

"I have listened to the voicemail left by Brenda Battel to Mr. James' campaign, and find no reason to defend this behavior," said Kate Hessling, editor of The Huron Daily Tribune.

The newspaper apologized to Mr. James and to the public after the voicemail went viral on social media.

"These statements do not represent the views of the Tribune as a whole, nor do they reflect the actions of a responsible journalist," Hessling wrote.

Stabenow is leading in all polls, but James is within striking distance.

Michigan Voters will decide on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Listen to the voicemail below.

  • iWasteTime
  • Decked Out

    i can not stop laffing.....

  • Louisville Is4TheBirds

    What was the disparaging part? lol
    Should I be outraged? Lol

  • Alextra Ballard


  • Ryan

    Republicans are a bunch of doggone snowflakes. Go vote so we might get fewer b.s. stories like this.

  • cherrypie

    Mannnn...i was thinking the same thing

  • Wreckognize Game

    Saying someone is possessed is disparaging

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    This is nonsense. She shouldn't have lost her job over this.

  • Alextra Ballard

    Maybe there's another recording...cuz it ain shidt on this one

  • Judge Mental Will

    He's being ignored because he's Vanilla, just not interesting.

  • Alextra Ballard

    They actually got this one wrong

  • Yui

    Boo-hoo, she said her personal opinion big deal. Not like she purposely did it to hurt his feelings or his campaign.

    Hope she gets hired elsewhere. Sucks for her.

  • Quitedeliteful

    You got to be more careful! She said what she said. She paid a high price for what she said but she'll be aiight. Getting another job won't be a problem for her...

  • Well$$Well$$?

    Gotta make sure you hang up the phone first before you start going in sis. ??

  • Trace da Ace

    *long deep sigh*.....see yall next post -->

  • Alextra Ballard

    She'll find another job...but I just hate the fact she got fired over foolishness. The statement wasn't warranted over her gettin fired tho.

  • Quitedeliteful

    So true. Much worse has been said on television...

  • Alextra Ballard

    That was her only mistake

  • Soda

    I've done this a couple times, said something out loud like, 'Stupid idiot!' when I thought the phone connection ended. Both times were calls with customer service reps who aren't allowed to hang up until after the customer does. I had to remove the battery from the phone once because it wouldn't disconnect & I kept hearing the person saying hello, hello, are you still there? ?

  • Roderick2011

    Was she drunk because what she said made no sense.

  • Phillybruh

    She'll get her job back tomorrow after he loses tonight.

  • Mielle Downey

    Why are liberals treating black GOP like run away slaves? I swear you liberal headcases are all self medicating losers.

  • Mielle Downey

    No he is a chocolate GOP God fearing man and she is a Godless she devil democrat.

  • Mielle Downey

    Democrats are neurotic head cases an dimwits.

  • Blaque Mahogany

    She said he was possessed and hard to get a hold of. I mean... I guess.

  • iWasteTime

    Name calling and assumptions are key factors in low intelligence.

  • Carrington

    How was this a fireable offense? She said she hopes he doesn't get elected because he's hard to get ahold of... that's basically saying, "How can he be a politician of the people when the people can't reach his a$$?!"
    These firings are going too far. As a journalist, she has an obligation to be fair in the interview and fact-finding processes but once she THOUGHT she'd hung up the phone, those were her personal beliefs - and she's entitled to that. She didn't call him the n-word and say anything racist, she said she hopes he doesn't win... if she's interviewing two, or three, candidates there HAS to be one she hopes loses.

  • Oh Tommie

    Dang she got fired over some weak verbiage..I was prepared for some n word or monkey business

  • Carrington

    Saying someone is possessed in the media can be disparaging. Saying someone is possessed in what you assume is a personal conversation isn't. And, the person who released the tape saying he's possessed was HIM... so, nobody would've known how she felt except for her, him and the person she was having a "private" conversation with. You can't release audio of me saying I think you're a thief and then go on a publicity tour saying, "she's hurting my reputation by calling me a thief" NO, releasing the tape hurt your reputation.

  • Miss Thang

    There's nothing wrong with the statements she made. Those comments are so mild. She didn't say anything bad about his politics. She said she hopes he doesn't win simply because he's hard to get ahold of. Reporters are tough people trying to get as much information as possible for their publication to pass on to the people. It's a very important job and is so needed in a democratic nation.

  • ?Patty Kakes?

    That's her opinion, she has a right to it. I know this is gonna be a big lawsuit. People say way worst things then this and keep their job

  • KLove

    I think it was a matter of credibility for the paper. She is certainly entitled to her opinion, however as a reporter, she is supposed to be objective. She wasnt going to report on him fairly, and probably was going to insert her opinion somehow into the story.

  • Carrington

    There is no suggestion that she wasn't going to report fairly. You can hate somebody's guts and still report fairly - IF you're a real journalist. A blogger may not be able to make that separation but, that's because they're not journalist.

  • Dontgetdraggedhoe??

    F!!!k john james

  • cherrypie

    I have nothing for this story. She should have made sure she hung up the phone but she surely should not have been fired. I thought she was going to say some ol racist BS but the worst thing she said was that he was possessed. Next post please!

  • Blue

    She prolly said that when she got fired.

  • Mielle Downey

    liberals have that covered

  • Wreckognize Game

    Your opinion and my opinion are just that.

  • Yoni7

    They should have let her stay and wear that scarlet letter of shame. She'd always be "that reporter that...." for the rest of her career. Granted she didn't go overboard with her opinion. She still must realize 1.) somebody is ALWAYS watching or listening and 2.) words mean things.

  • MJF

    I hope everyone got out and voted today! Don't miss it! Every vote counts! <3

  • Bashi22

    Handsome man that all

  • Marlika

    ? Give the ol coot back her job.

  • Judge Mental Will

    and you're a ho so your point?

  • Enoughsaid2020

    These dumb ninjas are coming out of crawl spaces, to spill their hate. SMH!

  • TMW

    “James has been virtually ignored by the news media, probably because he is a Republican.”

    Republicans are ignoring him too. He asked Trump to come and campaign for him, and Trump did not.

  • Kayke

    Am I missing something? What did she say that’s worth losing her job?

  • abby500

    Umm hmmm. They don’t want you....

  • TMW


  • Mielle Downey

    says queen of the mental cases

  • Judge Mental Will

    Shouldn't you be out hoing around town

  • CopperCutie

    I found nothing disparaging about what she said. Republicans don't claim him because he has zero chance of beating Democrat Stabenow and has a white wife.

  • Oretta Grace Smith

    Just looking at her tells me something Is Off with Her Within!!!

  • Black4life

    I knew he selected a white woman. His entire demeanor reads...white woman, his eyes read white women, and when he smells he smells white women. And don't come at me with that bs of what's wrong with that. I will answer for's my prerogative not to like it and this is really a white man.

  • RespectSelf

    lol That is tough. But folks are lying to say she shouldn't have gotten fired. If he was a democrat then it would have been a huge problem for folks. She made a big no no mistake.

  • Miss Thang


  • Miss Thang


  • R Smith


  • dontgetblocked

    I mean really. Girl. You look you been doing this a while. How could you not hang up the phone. What does he's possessed mean? Glad he's Republican so the world can see how evil the democrats can be.

  • Rhondalousey

    Right, and I hope his ugly arse don't get elected.

  • gail jones

    I'm wondering same thing.

  • Jussjess25

    I’m sorry yall.. but what was so disparaging about those comments? Seriously asking

  • Jussjess25

    White people usually think black people are possessed and evil animals

  • Jim

    He lost because Michigan hates black people