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Tags: acuna | election | gianforte | jacobs

'Unsympathetic' Media Made Gianforte Assault an Election Non-Issue

'Unsympathetic' Media Made Gianforte Assault an Election Non-Issue
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin addresses media on May 25, 2017, in Bozeman, Mont. The sheriff cited Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte for shoving a reporter to the ground. The Republican was charged with misdemeanor assault. Gootkin said he never considered pursuing a felony charge based on evidence collected after the incident. (Bobby Calvan/AP)

Michael Shannon By Wednesday, 31 May 2017 10:46 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Rumor has it that like President-elect Trump, Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte is creating Montana jobs before he’s been administered the oath of office. The personal security industry is experiencing a mini-boom as reporters are said to be hiring bodyguards to accompany them on interviews.

Gianforte is the candidate who got all up close and personal with Ben Jacobs — a reporter for the biased, lefty British paper The Guardian.

According to the campaign, Gianforte was in the midst of a private interview with a Fox reporter when Jacobs opened the door and barged in. This is where the story becomes confusing for me. I formerly had honest work as a journalist. My career included small TV stations, large radio networks, and The Dallas Morning News.

If I had arranged a private interview with a candidate in a race that had national attention focused on it, and another journalist butted in to my interview, the candidate wouldn’t have had time to do a thing.

I would have personally tossed the jerk out on his ear.

Evidently reporter Alicia Acuna and her cameraman didn’t feel like going all proprietary, because they stood frozen while the candidate tried to protect the sanctity of the interview.

Jacobs immediately claimed Gianforte "body-slammed" him and broke his glasses. I’m willing to take his word for the glasses, but not the body slam. The technique sounds very violent and potentially debilitating — which it is. 

Even a brief visit to YouTube will show a body slam involves the slammer lifting the slamee entirely off the ground and then flinging the slamee down. Ideally followed by the slammer landing on top and continuing the contest.

Based on the account given by the Buddha-like Fox reporter, Gianforte may have executed a hip throw, which is much less spectacular and violent. Most likely neither participant was much on pugilistic footwork and they simply tangled limbs and fell in a heap.

Still, I must admit a hip throw or foot tangle is much more kinetic than the usual run-of-the-mill politician interview.

Naturally President Trump, who wasn’t even on the same continent, is blamed for the violence. This is because, while the left has a wide variety of nuances in race and ideology when it comes to Muslim terrorists — making sure "moderate" Muslims aren’t collateral damage from the latest suicide blast — they just can’t seem to tell Republicans apart. They all look alike and the many must take the blame for sins of the few.

The opposition media is so reflexively antagonistic. It’s unable to note any positive signs in Trump/Republican violence no matter how incremental.

You may recall the last time Trump was swept up in accusations of  First Amendment assault. It was when former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was allegedly roughing up reporter Michelle Fields who at the time worked for Breitbart — an outlet that strongly supported Trump.

Gianforte’s was a special election and another chance for the left to upset a Republican in GOP territory, proving the nation’s disgust with Trump. Thus, the "body slam" controversy gave leftist dreamers real hope for a win.

It was not to be. Gianforte got what could be termed a split decision. He underperformed Trump’s percentage win, but still beat the Democrat by 6 points. This means one of two things: The dust-up happened too late to influence early voters and their votes carried the election. (Doubly painful for the left, since early voting is another one of their Democracy "reforms.") Or journalists are so unsympathetic a victim that regular beatings wouldn’t have made any difference in the election.

Jacobs may be over his bruising by now, but the pain is just starting for Gianforte. He’s already been arrested on misdemeanor assault charges and the unfortunate victory night photo where his wife holds his hand in the air like he’s the winner of an MMA bout won’t help his case in court.

Instead of prosecuting Gianforte, Jacobs should be thanking him. His future is gold-plated. Jacobs’ speaking fees will skyrocket and journalism awards will shower him like broken earpieces. And after retirement a cushy university position awaits.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.

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The dust-up happened too late to influence early voters and their votes carried the election.
acuna, election, gianforte, jacobs
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 10:46 AM
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