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Whitmer's irreverent joke about 'Shark Week' makes waves after Dem convention speech

The Detroit News

Lansing — A purported video of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer irreverently joking about "Shark Week" and mouthing an expletive before her speech at the Democratic National Convention was spreading Monday night on the internet.

Whitmer spoke at the convention at about 10 p.m. Monday. The Recount, which describes itself as a video-first political media brand, posted a short clip of Whitmer having an apparent light-hearted moment before going live on television.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020.

It was unclear how the video was obtained by The Recount, a year-old venture started by journalists John Battelle and John Heilemann, the site's executive editor and a political analyst for NBC and MSNBC.

"It's not just Shark Week," Whitmer says in the apparent clip. She then says, "It's Shark Week" before mouthing "m----- f-----."

The joke was apparently in reference to Discovery Channel's "Shark Week," seven days of shark-related programming that ended Saturday. Those gathered at United Auto Workers Local 652, where Whitmer spoke, laughed at the governor's joke, according to the video.

"I have learned about the hot mic," Whitmer then said.

A Whitmer spokesman didn't immediately respond to a question about the video. And The Recount didn't respond to questions about it either.

But Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II joked about the incident Tuesday morning on social media by tweeting: "What week is it, @gretchenwhitmer?" Whitmer tweeted from her campaign a Discovery Channel digital image of a shark swimming.

The Recount's Twitter account has more than 293,000 followers. The clip of Whitmer before her speech had more than 70,000 views before midnight.

Heilemann tweeted out the clip Monday night.