Greg Gianforte response: "It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.”Here's a quick summary of the story with a conservative pundits opinion, along with the reporters perspective. From All in with Chris Hayes:
Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin: "There is a cost to labeling these people, the enemies, myself included, the opposition continuing to berate them, calling on crowds to hoot and holler at them. You create an atmosphere where these people are not treated like human beings."The Republican candidate for Montana’s congressional seat has been charged with misdemeanor assault after he is alleged to have slammed a Guardian reporter to the floor on the eve of the state’s special election, breaking his glasses and shouting: “Get the hell out of here.”
Ben Jacobs, a Guardian political reporter, was asking Greg Gianforte, a tech millionaire endorsed by Donald Trump, about the Republican healthcare plan when the candidate allegedly “body-slammed” the reporter. “He took me to the ground,” Jacobs said by phone from the back of an ambulance. “I think he whaled on me once or twice … He got on me and I think he hit me … This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me in reporting on politics.”
Even Fox News confirmed the reporters story:
Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna, field producer Faith Mangan and photographer Keith Railey witnessed the incident at Gianforte’s campaign headquarters in Montana, according to an account published on the Fox News website. After Jacobs asked Gianforte his question, Acuna wrote: “Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him.In an amazingly slick piece of reporting, The Guardian actually took an in-depth look at the race. There are even aerial views...how'd they do that? Check out how dismissive local conservative voters are about their Republican candidate:
“Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of ‘I’m sick and tired of this!’ … To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff’s deputies.”
On 28 April, The Guardian reported on Gianforte’s financial ties to Russian companies that have been sanctioned by the US. Gianforte’s wealth is estimated at between $65m and $315m.
Last month, the Missoulian newspaper took Gianforte to task for his attitude toward the press. At an event hosted by the Advancing Conservatism Society, an audience member reportedly said: “Our biggest enemy is the news media. How can we rein in the news media?” Gianforte responded by pointing at a reporter and saying: “We have someone right here. It seems like there is more of us than there is of him.” Gianforte later told the Billings Gazette that his comments were a joke.