“F**king…stupid…a**!” Today, America’s Newsroom guest go-host Gregg Jarrett got rather uncomfortable today [as he reported a story about the suspension of ESPN reporter Britt McHenry‘s after her “really bizarre foul-mouthed rant against a parking lot attendant for a tow truck company…filled with insults caught on video and then going viral” (via FNC vid)]. And, co-anchor Martha McCallum and Happening Now co-host Jenna Lee did not help things.
For FNC fill-in anchor Jarrett, who recently returned to Fox News after taking off for “serious personal issues,” his segment on McHenry’s suspension was an uncomfortable one for him and his viewers. As his fans may know, Jarrett recently pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct pertaining to an incident at a Minneapolis/St. Paul airport bar and grill: Allegedly, he was intoxicated and he “refused to follow orders and was arrested for obstruction of the legal process and taken to jail.” In a video of Jarrett in an apparent airport holding cell, a belligerent Jarrett calls an officer a “f**king…stupid…a**” and is summarily subdued and cuffed.
Today, a smiling Jarrett introduced his segment on McHenry, saying, “ESPN is suspending reporter Britt MacHenry after she let loose.”* Chuckling, he continued, “[I]n a really bizarre foul-mouthed rant against a parking lot attendant for a tow truck company. The ugly outburst–that’s with a capital “U”–filled with insults caught on video and then going viral.”
Subsequently, producers ran the footage of McHenry horridly raving, “I’m in the news, sweetheart. I will f**king sue this place….I wouldn’t work at a scumbag place like this. Makes my skin crawl even being here. Maybe, if I was [sic] missing some teeth they would hire me, huh?…Lose some weight, baby girl!”
In the segment, Jarrett moderated a discussion whether ESPN had the right to suspend McHenry. During it, he rightly noted, “We all have bad moments, frustrated, and we lash out and feel bad about it afterwards.”
As the block concluded, Martha seemed to gauchely throw Jarrett a lifeline, saying, “I want to go back to Britt McHenry here: I mean…obviously, she was acting like a complete jerk. I think what she needs to do is go back and apologize to that woman. But, the fact that she’s suspended from her job for a week, people have jerky behavior all the time. What’s the limit to that? Where does that end where you’re going to be monitored at home and [unintelligible] well, you said something nasty to your neighbor, and I think that you should be suspended for a week?”
Rightly, Jarrett noted, “Yeah, well the trouble is that she used her position in television in that remark.” He added, “Her biggest punishment is public humiliation. And, boy, check out social media!”
Laughing Martha said, “She’ll probably get more attention….You know how that works. You know how that works in the media world, right?”
All too aptly, Jarrett replied, “I do.”
Probably ready for a modicum of relief from Martha’s ill-conceived banter, Jarrett segued to the promo for the upcoming show, saying, “Jenna Lee is standing by for Happening Now. Hey, Jenna!”
But, there was no relief for poor Jarrett. Jenna began, remarking, “None of us have ever acted…none of us have ever acted like a jerk EVER! Anyways!”
“Anyways.” The elephant in the room remained–unremarked upon. Awkwardly for Jarrett–and the viewer.
*America’s Newsroom – 04/17/15 (@ 10:42 a.m. ET).