On Britt McHenry and Towing Scams

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I’m sure you’ve seen the news already, but today has been a rough one for Britt McHenry, Quaz No. 183 and someone I’ve come to consider a friend.

There’s a video (which, again, most of you have viewed) that shows McHenry, an up-and-coming ESPN reporter, berating a female employee at Advanced Towing. The stuff emerging from Britt’s mouth, well, it ain’t pretty. She mocks the woman’s teeth and weight, boasts about being on television, etc … etc. Again, it’s cringe-worthy, mainly because it reeks of the sort of my-shit-don’t-stink-and-yours-smells-like-rotted-flesh that most of us left behind in 11th grade. In and of itself, it’s damning and awful and Britt should be ashamed.

Hell, ESPN even had her apologize (which she did on Twitter) before suspending her for a week. This is what she wrote …

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 5.13.56 PMI feel a little biased here, because I genuinely like Britt. I feel a little let down here, because—even if someone were completely reprehensible—appearances are off limits for me. “You’re a dick”—fine. “Fuck off, you whore”—OK. “I hope 1,000 leeches suck the brown marrow from your anal cavity!” All good. But weight and teeth … eh. Not so great.

That being said, I’m equally put off by the rush to anoint Britt the new Satan. Let’s look at the circumstances for a minute. She parks her car to eat at a restaurant. She’s eating at a restaurant. She leaves the restaurant. Her car has been towed by what appears to be a scam company that feeds off of inappropriate towing nonsense. Britt McHenry is livid. Rightly livid. She has to get fetch her impounded car, knowing it wasn’t rightly impounded. She has to fork over money she shouldn’t be forking over. She’s 100-percent aware she’s being taken advantage of, and before her is a woman who works for the very company that is stealing her money and ruining her evening.

So she tees off.

Again, the stuff she said was gross. And, as I noted when Riley Cooper used the n-word a few years back, the best way to judge folks is when they don’t have to be nice; when they’re not in front of a camera and speaking with the press.

But can I say—with 100-percent certainty—that my frustration wouldn’t have boiled over, too? That I wouldn’t have stared that woman down and said, “Fuck you, fuck him, fuck her. I hope you all fucking die”?

No, I can’t.

We’re all human.