The Outrages Come One a Day.
I get up early, usually around five o’clock. I go into my little office, check my emails and, because it’s already close to noon on the East Coast, I go to the Boston Globe web site to read about last night’s Red Sox game and see what else has been happening while we were sleeping. When my wife appears an hour or so later, her first words for many weeks now are “Well, what’s the outrage of the day?” Here’s my offering from yesterday morning.
The Republican candidate for Montana’s one Congressional seat, Greg Gianforte, physically attacked a reporter from The Guardian, body slamming him to the floor. Ben Jacobs, the reporter, had asked Gianforte a question about healthcare. There is corroborating evidence of the assault in the form of an audio recording, as well as a statement from witnesses, including a TV reporter from a Fox News affiliate who was present.
Several things about this particular outrage are disturbing:
Gianforte’s spokesperson put out a statement immediately after the incident accusing the reporter of “grabbing” the congressman. It was a shameless fabrication that was denounced by people who were there.
One of the local television stations, KECI in Missoula, reported the incident, but did not air the audio recording of the scuffle. That raised enough protests for the station to issue a statement saying, yes, they probably should have aired the audio. Ya think??
Of course this arrogant punk, Gianforte, was elected the following day in spite of all the negative publicity. Montana has early voting and anti-Gianforte votes cast on election day were not enough to overcome votes already cast. And it was too late for people who had already voted for Gianforte to change their vote. The truth? These days, with the media being called the “enemy of the people” by our president, he probably would have won anyway.
And as far as I can determine, none of the Republicans in the House, his future colleagues, condemned Gianforte’s assault on the journalist. Not one. One did say, half-jokingly, he thought it might be kind of a good idea.
Every one of us–left, right and center–should be outraged.
Jim, I’m just guessing of course, but it’s just possible for every liberal who was morally outraged over Mr. Gianforte’s rather effective body slam of the hapless Mr. Jacobs, there were many Montanans who were slightly (if not silently) amused at the whole thing. They might even have felt the reporter, who was a Democratic activist from Iowa hired by a far left British newspaper, was a partisan hack who had it coming. (I thought his persistence was a bit on the obnoxious side.)
You need to realize the liberal press (e.g. The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times) is truly reviled by a lot of middle America right now.
The bottom line, Jim, is that the Montana voters spoke. In the past they have elected Democrats, but not this time. Maybe the voters weren’t impressed with the Democratic candidate. Maybe they weren’t impressed with a Bernie Sanders endorsement.
And, just maybe, they were a bit tired of media, not only from half a continent away, but half a world away, injecting themselves rather aggressively into what they perceived as a local election.
Sorry, Charles, there is no excuse for that behavior. This has nothing to do with liberal or conservative. It has to do with simply expecting civilized behavior from our elected officials regardless of party.