POLITICS

Look At These Politicians Who Don't Punch Reporters Who Put Recorders In Their Faces

How do they control themselves?

Montana GOP congressional candidate Greg Gianforte physically attacked a reporter Wednesday after becoming so incensed that the man, a journalist with The Guardian, had the audacity to put a recorder near his face and ask him a question about health care. 

Gianforte’s campaign blamed the “liberal journalist” for the attack, claiming that Jacobs was the one who showed the “aggressive behavior.” The campaign said Jacobs “aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face and began asking badgering questions. ... Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground.”

But a Fox News crew that witnessed the event disputed that account and described an attack that went beyond body slamming. They said the congressional candidate “grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him.” He then began punching Jacobs and “yelling something to the effect of, ‘I’m sick and tired of this!’”

They also said they never saw Jacobs show any physical aggression. The special election between Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist takes place Thursday.

Taking questions from the press is a regular part of being a politician. Every day that members of Congress are in Washington they’re confronted by reporters ― with their recorders ― trying to ask them questions, including on hot topics such as the Congressional Budget Office’s scoring of a health care bill. 

And, believe it or not, the vast majority of lawmakers are able to handle this task without resorting to physical violence. Some proof: 

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) manages to keep it together even though Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs is standing behind her.&
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) manages to keep it together even though Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs is standing behind her. 
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) didn't punch anyone even though he was surrounded by reporters.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) didn't punch anyone even though he was surrounded by reporters.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) talks to reporters but doesn't punch them.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) talks to reporters but doesn't punch them.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) doesn't look thrilled to see reporters, but he deals with the situation like an adult.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) doesn't look thrilled to see reporters, but he deals with the situation like an adult.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) talks to reporters instead of throwing them to the ground.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) talks to reporters instead of throwing them to the ground.
The self-control exhibited by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) is really something.
The self-control exhibited by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) is really something.
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) is able to walk up an escalator and deal with reporter questions.
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) is able to walk up an escalator and deal with reporter questions.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is smiling, even though reporters with recorders are nearby.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is smiling, even though reporters with recorders are nearby.

Want more updates from Amanda Terkel? Sign up for her newsletter, Piping Hot Truth, here.

CONVERSATIONS