Patterico's Pontifications

6/9/2017

Montana Republican Greg Gianforte Apologizes, Will Plead Guilty To Assaulting Reporter

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:42 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Yesterday it was announced that newly-elected congressman from Montana, Greg Gianforte will plead guilty to assault charges resulting from an altercation with Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs last month. In spite of Jacobs saying “he would not object to Gianforte entering a no contest plea,” the Gallatin County Attorney told reporters that Gianforte will nonetheless plead guilty. Gianforte would face a maximum of six months in jail and a $500 fine if found guilty.

Earlier this week, Gianforte wrote Jacobs a letter of apology, as well as informing Jacobs that he would be making a $50,000 donation to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit group that works to protect the rights of journalists everywhere while defending their right “to report the news without fear of reprisal”.

Untitled

“As both a candidate for office and a public official, I should be held to a high standard in my interactions with the press and the public. My treatment of you did not meet that standard,” Gianforte wrote.

[…]

“I understand the critical role that journalists and the media play in our society,” Gianforte wrote. “Protections afforded to the press through the Constitution are fundamental to who we are as a nation and the way government is accountable to the people.”

“I acknowledge that the media have an obligation to seek information,” Gianforte continued. “I also know that civility in our public discourse is central to a productive dialogue on issues. I had no right to respond the way I did to your legitimate question about healthcare policy. You were doing your job.”

Jacobs has accepted Gianforte’s apology:

“I have accepted Mr. Gianforte’s apology and his willingness to take responsibility for his actions and statements. I hope the constructive resolution of this incident reinforces for all the importance of respecting the freedom of the press and the First Amendment and encourages more civil and thoughtful discourse in our country.”

Sending a letter of apology was the right thing for Gianforte to do. Unfortunately, given how many on the right defended Gianforte in the altercation because it was “just desserts” for years of the liberal elite media attacking and maligning Republicans, it wouldn’t be surprising if this mockery was actually the very real reaction of the same people to Gianforte upon reading his apology:

Manly masculine man Greg Gianforte disappointed his ancestors, the right-wing movement, and betrayed Trump in the worst way possible when today he apologized to the reporter he “body-slammed,” in a weepy, wimpy statement.

Clearly he doesn’t want to make America great ever!!

But it wasn’t payback to the media. Not at all. It was just someone in a position of power losing his temper and making a very bad decision. The same writer mocking those who defended Gianforte’s actions, gets to the heart of the matter: “This is what happens when you love your political tribe more than you love truth, or honesty, or decency.”

As I opined here,

I guess assault is now considered okay, if it’s your side that felt provoked. Like, oh, we didn’t have a choice, we had to shove, hit, grab by the neck, whatever. WE HAD NO CHOICE! Whether it’s an annoying reporter provoking a politician, or a politician provoking a colleagues on the other side of the aisle, it’s unacceptable to react in this manner. Can we just dispense with making excuses for any of them: Gianforte’s assault on Ben Jacobs was simply how Montanans settle things. Nevarez shoving Rinaldi is just how Texans (or Hispanic males) settle things. We should be irate as hell that our elected officials in the seats of power believe the rules don’t apply to them, and condeming their noxious weasel-like rationalizations. As if those should smooth over very bad decision making. No one looks noble, just pathetic. And for Godsake, let’s stop assessing whether the story fits our particular point of political view before condemning it. That sort of thinking only widens the Left/Right chasm, and further exacerbates an already contentious situation. Somebody must be the grown up.

Hopefully everyone will cheer on Gianforte’s efforts to right a wrong, in as much as it is in his power to do so. (Yes, I know: Gianforte’s a politician. Genuine sincerity and humility are not standard fare for these types when caught up in any sort of scandal. Faux-humility, yes. Definitely. Rehab, of course. And a lot of testing the political winds to see which way public sentiment leads them. That is the typical go-to response of those in power. And maybe that’s what Ginaforte’s letter and donation are all about. But right here, right now, I choose to dump my standard cynicism and see this as a man who knew he screwed up big time and is trying to make amends as best he can. Can we just leave it there, at least for now?)

Also, to this Republican’s credit, not only did he offer a gracious apology, but official verification of his $50,000 donation has been made. This unlike other politicians who say they will, but then don’t. Or take it from children with cancer.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

UPDATE BY PATTERICO:

As a reminder, Gianforte’s campaign’s statement at the time:

“Tonight, as Greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions,” Scanlon said. “Jacobs was asked to leave. After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. 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. It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.”

Horseshit. It was always obvious horseshit and now he has confirmed it.

Here’s what commenters said about this at the time, in this thread, memorialized for posterity. Me, I said assaulting reporters is wrong. Seems Mr. Horseshit finally agrees.

41 Responses to “Montana Republican Greg Gianforte Apologizes, Will Plead Guilty To Assaulting Reporter”

  1. Happy Friday!

    Dana (023079)

  2. Apologizing to the guy is one thing. Giving 50 grand to an organization that wants to destroy our way of life, no dice.

    NJRob (9ce736)

  3. Like Al franker whose air America actually was funded by criminal enterprise, and who actually body slammed someone on camera.

    narciso (d1f714)

  4. The matriarch of the Resistance puts everything in perspective:

    “Shortly after calling into question President Trump’s mental health on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s own mental health came under scrutiny, as the 77-year-old California congresswoman referred to President Trump as “President Bush” and forgot what day of the week it is.”

    https://news.grabien.com/story-moments-after-trumps-mental-health-pelosi-has-senior-moment

    harkin (3f4d38)

  5. Except navaez didn’t suffer any consequence in fact he mar himself the victim, in most accounts.

    narciso (d1f714)

  6. Sometimes it’s best to just put some things behind you. Gianforte can recoup that $50,000 in one day with a little insider trading. If he doesn’t know how, he can ask Dianne Feinstein.

    nk (dbc370)

  7. yes yes it’s all about managing risk :)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  8. UPDATE BY PATTERICO:

    As a reminder, Gianforte’s campaign’s statement at the time:

    “Tonight, as Greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions,” Scanlon said. “Jacobs was asked to leave. After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. 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. It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.”

    Horseshit. It was always obvious horseshit and now he has confirmed it.

    Here’s what commenters said about this at the time, in this thread, memorialized for posterity. Me, I said assaulting reporters is wrong. Seems Mr. Horseshit finally agrees.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  9. If you quote my profanity you will end up in the filter. It’s not fair but it’s reality.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  10. A last inning well played, Congressman. How refreshing to see a thoughtful, utterly ungrudging, and thorough-going apology! Plaudits, too, to Jacobs for accepting it. From wherever one starts, it’s ennobling to rise above.

    Good post, Dana, thank you.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  11. As if this will be the end of it, not by a country mile,

    narciso (d1f714)

  12. NjRob, did you actually look at their website?

    kishnevi (ab2b70)

  13. I’m jaded. Two of my former Congressman went to prison (one is still there) and another is reputed to have repeatedly stabbed a steak knife into a table calling out the names of his enemies as he did it: “X, dead!” “Y, dead!” “Z, dead!” ….

    nk (dbc370)

  14. You need to move to the suburbs, nk.

    There were often fisticuffs down in south Florida when maceo brigade

    narciso (d1f714)

  15. the important thing is the healing can start now

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  16. And sandalistas wantec to show their admiration for the local Connie tyrant. Sometimes it was nits than fisticuffs as happened to a Hugh school ckasdmate whose family restaurant hosted a regime sympathizer.

    narciso (d1f714)

  17. Left, right, up, down, around and through the looking glass, in a country that boasts pride in the freedom of the press: you don’t assault reporters doing their jobs.

    Case closed.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  18. “Here’s what commenters said about this at the time, in this thread, memorialized for posterity. “

    Yes, those who embellished an incident of misdemeanor assault by saying he “pounded the pulp” out of the reporter just could not resist lying. Sad.

    harkin (3f4d38)

  19. “Ben was asking for it” is one comment I remember well.

    Not even Gianforte says that.

    Now.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  20. Most of us poor schmucks don’t have $50,000 to make cases and controversies go away.

    If I were in the same situation, if I gave my comparative 1 cent to a charity, it wouldn’t help make anything go away, except possibly my body might go away to jail.

    Daniel (a1e7ab)

  21. Gianforte wrote two checks his a$$ could cash.

    Pinandpuller (bb7abb)

  22. “Not even Gianforte says that.

    Now.”

    I knew exactly which comment you meant. Just pointing out the larger range which seems quite often missed here.

    harkin (536957)

  23. corey didn’t get extorted

    and that was a good thing

    but here

    the incentives (and license) for propaganda sluts to goad, provoke, and invade the personal space of people, often in their most stressful moments, are very powerful

    and this represents the values of latter-day failmerica quite aptly i think

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  24. 17.Left, right, up, down, around and through the looking glass, in a country that boasts pride in the freedom of the press: you don’t assault reporters doing their jobs.

    Case closed.

    Blah, blah, blah. Very noble. Now all we need to do is find a way to make reporters actually do their jobs instead of trying to screw every person with an (R) after their names and we may have something going.

    Rev.Hoagie® (630eca)

  25. Mainly, I think it’s more ridiculous than it is anything else, for a 56-year old Congressional candidate and a thirty-something Duke University Law School graduate to be tussling like a couple of fifteen-year olds. If I were the judge, I’d make them both post a peace bond, to be forfeited to defray the costs to the county for the next 911 call, should they act up again.

    As for reporters, they are not entitled to any special treatment because they are not anything special. In many instances, they are less than special. Less ethical, less truthful, less law-abiding, less considerate of other persons, less socially responsible, than the general population.

    As for “just doing his job”, so is the DJ at the karaoke bar when he shoves that microphone near your face. But you agreed to that. Gianforte had not agreed to Jacobs crashing his interview with Fox News.

    nk (dbc370)

  26. Mainly, I think it’s more ridiculous than it is anything else, for a 56-year old Congressional candidate and a thirty-something Duke University Law School graduate to be tussling like a couple of fifteen-year olds.

    Indeed. Of course, that’s not remotely what happened here. Here, an about-to-be Congressman physically attacked a reporter. But sure, in an alternate universe where they were tussling, that would be ridiculous.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  27. Considering what passes for “journalism” now, the $50,000 donation should go to the Committee to Protest Journalists.

    Jim (a9b7c7)

  28. I’m not seeing much daylight between those who continue to defend the assault by Gianforte and the die hard Trump supporters who continue to deny reality. Has this unfortunate strain always affected our politics to some significant degree and has Trumps candidacy and election magnified their influence? Discuss.

    Spartacvs (f89a24)

  29. Here’s what commenters said about this at the time, in this thread, memorialized for posterity.

    this is beautiful in a way that can only be described as comeyesque

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  30. And hatefulfeet again takes advantage of our host’s goodwill to insult him.

    Patterico has the patience of a saint.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  31. oh my goodness I call poopnards on that Mr. Beldar i was just being cheeky not insulting

    this world is a trip i don’t know what’s going on these days!

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  32. it says a lot about how comey has defiled himself though that the word comeyesque so quickly become freighted with connotations of disparagement

    this is a sobering observation, and I thank you Mr. Beldar for helping all of us to understand this more better

    comey’s inchoate steps toward rehabilitation and redemption after his sad and devastatingly public comeuppance signal the beginning of a journey down a longer and harder road than I think many people including himself were expecting

    i hope he’s wearing good shoes

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  33. filthy propaganda sluts gotta get their slut on i guess, but then they whine when people don’t make soothing noises when people do disrespect on them

    GOP candidate Greg Gianforte has financial ties to US-sanctioned Russian companies

    Greg Gianforte, who is the GOP standard bearer in the upcoming special election in Montana, owns just under $250,000 in shares in two index funds that are invested in the Russian economy to match its overall performance.

    jesus christ these CNN Jake Tapper fake news propaganda sluts are getting dumber and more trashy by the week!

    needless to say i abjure this

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  34. The cause was intrusion of personal space. The issue was if it justified self-defense.

    n.n (8731c5)

  35. Gianforte assaulted him not because there was a certain intrusion into his physical space, but because he (and earlier, another reporter from the same organization) asked a political question that didn’t have any good unembarassing answer – and that includes refusing to answer – near the conclusion of an election campaign.

    Gianforte had more or less said that he couldn’t take a position on the House Obamacare replacement bill till the CBO score was in. It came in. Now what?

    The apology is too obsequious. This assault was wrong even if journalists didn’t serve any useful purpose, let alone a fundamental one. I didn’t like that. It sounds like as if he had assulated an ordinary citizen, that wouldn’t have been so bad.

    And then it doesn’t say he was wrong – it says he didn’t live up to a high standard.

    Later he says he recognizes they have an obligation to seek information; we need civility; it was a legitimate question; he was just doing his job.

    He should have cut out that “high standard” business.

    Sammy Finkelman (1df645)

  36. Talking about medical costs, the following article is relevant:

    http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2017/06/charges-costs-arent-thing.html

    Charges and costs aren’t the same thing

    Allen DeSena, MD, MPH | Policy | June 7, 2017

    Unless you assume markets are efficient, which is the last thing medical prices are.

    Excerpt:

    It would seem that we’re talking about costs all the time. It’s everywhere. However, the subtle thing of saying, “Hey, those are charges we’re really talking about!” No one is talking about that. It’s important because as long as the powers that be are equating the terms charges and costs, then they don’t have to have the conversation about what their costs actually are … “opening the books,” as one might say. All will deny it (that they’re avoiding that conversation). Health care systems will talk about the mission statements and their commitments to providing outstanding patient care.

    Meanwhile, a study by Johns Hopkins showed that the so-called nonprofit hospitals are making money hand over fist. The pharmaceutical companies will tolerate a few examples of outrageous charges for medications because they’re hiding the fact that it’s quite literally occurring across the entire industry. I once asked a pharmaceutical representative to give me information on the costs of the production of a multiple sclerosis drug, meaning what it costs the company to manufacture it. He’s still laughing (I asked him about six weeks ago). Another outstanding article showed how pharmaceutical companies can inflate their charges.

    He really doesn’t have an answer.

    But that’s the problem that needs to be solved, without handing every person the same amount of money, because needs are not the same.

    Single payer is giving up on competition altogether, which means giving up on price control – the premise in fact is that prices are ratonals and what they should be – and ultimately this leads to rationing. Costs are controlled by denying service. If not for old things, for new things. which always cost far more tahn they should.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  37. http://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2016/nonprofit-hospitals-earn-substantial-profits.html

    In the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2013, for example, the 239-bed nonprofit Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin, was the most profitable hospital in the U.S., earning a profit of $302.5 million, or $4,241 per patient.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2017/02/10/a-6000-price-hike-should-give-drug-companies-a-disgusting-sense-of-deja-vu/#456dd8c071f5

    Why does this keep happening? Well, with the exception of Shkreli, enabled by a thicket of market inefficiencies, because it’s the law. And that’s very much the case for Marathon and Emflaza.

    Because this steroid has never been approved in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration considers it a new drug. That means that not only did Marathon have to go through the process of getting it approved as a new drug, but that it gets the benefit of laws Congress has passed to encourage drug companies to develop new medicines for rare diseases.

    Those legal benefits include a 7-year monopoly under the Orphan Drug Act, and a rare disease priority review voucher that allows a company to get a sped-up FDA review for another drug. Such vouchers can be sold for large sums.

    eople had bene importing it from Europe, where it si a generic. Of course some generics have gotten sky-high prices.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  38. I’m not seeing much daylight between those who continue to defend the assault by Gianforte and the die hard Trump supporters who continue to deny reality. Has this unfortunate strain always affected our politics to some significant degree and has Trumps candidacy and election magnified their influence? Discuss.

    Spartacvs (f89a24) — 6/10/2017 @ 8:15 am

    If that’s not contrived I don’t know what is.

    I have never defended Gianforte, but much to my surprise I find I have occasion to defend Trump.

    Not like I’m going to bother to look but apparently Pat has commemorated a list of people who defend Gianforte’s body slamming a reporter. I can’t respect that. And I say this as someone who isn’t opposed to violence. I just happened to serve with men who were far, far better at violence then me. And I’m better at violence than 97% of the population.

    Beating up a reporter. Not something I would put on my resume. Maintaining control. Now, that’s something.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  39. Attention to orders.

    http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=23680 John Sidney McCain , III
    Date of birth: August 29, 1936
    Place of Birth: Panama Canal Zone, Coco Solo Naval Air Station
    Home of record: Norfolk Virginia
    Status: POW

    John McCain, III, represented a third generation of Naval Academy graduates when he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Class of 1958. He was interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam after he was shot down on October 26, 1967, and was held until his release on March 14, 1973. After his retirement from the Navy in 1981 as a Captain, McCain was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona’s 1st District and served from January 1983 to January 1987. He was next elected to the U.S. Senate from Arizona and has served in that office since January 1987. He ran for President of the United States in the 2000 and 2008 Presidential Elections.

    Distinguished Flying Cross
    See more recipients of this award

    Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

    The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Commander [then Lieutenant Commander] John Sidney McCain, III (NSN: 0-624787), United States Navy, for heroism while participating in aerial flight on 26 October 1967 in North Vietnam. While attacking the thermal power plant at Hanoi, Commander McCain, despite extremely heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire and more than fifteen surface-to-air missiles in the air, pursued the attack until his aircraft was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire. Although his aircraft was severely damaged, he continued his bomb delivery pass and released his bombs on the target. When the aircraft would not recover from the dive, Commander McCain was forced to eject over the target. By his exceptional courage, superb airmanship, and total devotion to duty, Commander McCain reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
    Action Date: October 26, 1967

    Service: Navy

    Now shut up and go away.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  40. I salute you, sir. But go away.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)


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