By: Larry Bisagni
There’s an old adage that goes something like this: People may forget what you said or what you did, but they will never forget the way you made them feel. It’s been attributed to many people.
I don’t know Britt McHenry. Don’t care to. Before yesterday, you could stand two 20-something blondes next to one another, and I’d have a 50/50 chance of correctly identifying her.
All behavior is learned, and morphs into patterns. Kids that throw temper tantrums become adults that throw temper tantrums. When McHenry showed her true colors on the now infamous video that has gone viral, the cat shot out of the bag, and there was no going back on this one.
Nobody likes a bully, especially one that comes across as privileged and full of superficial hubris. McHenry’s arrogance and self-centeredness have already dwarfed her already questionable reporting ability.
Where I think the issues have yet to surface is at the next assignment she covers. Not the fans that will inevitably razz her. I’m talking about the athletes that she will have to interview. John Wooden once said, “Ability is a poor man’s wealth.” Many pro athletes come from very little, and have a mother, aunt, sister, or grandmother that has had a thankless job where they were mistreated. How will that athlete which comes from such humble beginnings feel about speaking to her now?
I really don’t see how ESPN can continue with her. She might believe that she’s a really big, irreplaceable deal, but she isn’t. I hate to point out the obvious, but there are a line of capable, attractive female sports reporters, and replacing her will take about 30 minutes of a news director reviewing on-air tapes, a call to an agent with an offer for the next one in line that hit the genetic jackpot, and a large check made out to her in the form of severance, all of which can transpire in about an hour. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that a couple of corporate lawyers are huddled in an office in Bristol trying to figure out how to assemble a package to get out from underneath of this nightmare.
She’s right about her being a TV personality and being “in the news, sweetheart.” And ironically, her real on-air personality may prove to be her undoing.
ESPN powers that be, you cover enough sports to know the ball is in your court. With all the anti-bullying campaigns out there, none could do more to raise awareness to this cause than for you to make an example of your bully, queen bee, mean girl, or whatever you want to call her.
Just don’t call her to cover a bunch of people who are less educated than her, that make her skin crawl, that have no skill set, that have a less than perfect set of choppers, or that might have a relative that ever lived in a trailer.