Merriam-Webster defines a “body slam” as “a wrestling throw in which the opponent’s body is lifted and brought down hard to the mat.” According to the online dictionary, searches for the term surged exponentially on Wednesday night ― but not because our nation had tuned into a particularly thrilling night of WWE.
Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs was in Bozeman, Montana, covering a special election for the local congressional seat, which pitted the GOP’s Greg Gianforte against Democratic candidate Rob Quist. On Wednesday evening, he tweeted that Gianforte had “body slammed” him and broken his glasses as he attempted to interview the candidate at his campaign headquarters.
In a statement, Gianforte’s campaign claimed, improbably, that Jacobs “aggressively” got in the candidate’s face at an event, then “grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground.” A Fox News team was present, and published an account of the altercation that corroborated Jacobs. Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault.
But what exactly is a “body slam”? As Merriam-Webster defines it, the move might look something like this:
Here’s how Fox News reporters at the scene described the incident: “Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him.”
Huh, sounds about right.