Unnecessary Roughness: How Dumb was Britt McHenry?

Unnecessary Roughness: How Dumb was Britt McHenry? April 16, 2015
Image Keith Allison via WikimediaCommons
Image Keith Allison via WikimediaCommons

Saw people talking about this story on Twitter, and didn’t think much about it; some woman had a non-work-related rant and got suspended for a week from her job? I tossed off a joke about “wimmen being kept in line” or something and forgot about it, until I visited Hot Air and actually saw the video.

Holy Smokes!

Hey, I understand people who are in stressful situations not putting their best self forward — it happens to all of us. But Britt McHenry is just unnecessarily nasty and personal — and embarrassingly elitist — as she goes after the attendant who is helping her.

McHenry apparently feels that having a college degree — like so many millions of Americans — means she’s a special snowflake, a member of the credentialed gentry entitled to berate the yahoo.

She seems like the sorority girl from hell, especially when, after castigating the clerk for being insufficiently educated, she takes shots at her appearance, as well.  

But you know what the worst part of it is? There is a moment in the video, near the start, where — after condescendingly telling the clerk, “I’m in the news, sweetheart; I will f*ing sue this place…” — the clerk responds, “okay, well that’s fine, then I’ll tell you you’re on video, so be careful.”

McHenry looks up at the camera. She knows she is being filmed.

Let that sink in. The woman she is treating like dirt beneath her feet goes to the trouble to give a celebrity — an “important person” in an internet-informed “gotcha” world — a generous heads up that there is a camera on her.

And the vapid celebrity — who is in the news, sweetheart, so you’d think she’d have a clue about cameras and such — looks right up at the camera. Then she just continues to indulge her uppity wrath.

“Yep, that’s all you care about, is just taking people’s money,” McHenry says. “With no education, no skillset, just wanted to clarify that. … Do you feel good about your job? So I could be a college dropout and do the same thing? Why, cause I have a brain and you don’t?”

Well you sure weren’t using it, sweetheart. There are two women in that video. One of them had enough brains and consideration to warn the other that a bit of self-awareness might be wise.

And one of them was very, very stupid. Even if the clerk’s edited-out remarks were less than wonderful, she knew there was a camera running.

Then again, we’re all stupid sometimes. But cameras are tiny and they are everywhere, now, so perhaps we should all be a little more self-aware. As Unk is warned in Vonnegut’s Sirens of Titan, “You can’t tell by looking who has one, so be sweet to everybody.”

Then, no matter what the initial motivation for self-preservation may have started it, perhaps all of that acting-as-if will rub off on us, and we’ll all treat each other just a little better.

Because how we behave toward each other is another way we tell them, “it is good that you exist.”


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