Is this something else I need to worry about: getting body slammed by some politician who is seeking to have the honor of serving the public? Maybe I’m not part of that public. Maybe, being a champion of the alt-right, he sees me as the enemy, either because I’m a member of the media or perhaps because I’m a member of a non-favored religion. Although, to be professionally fair about this, here’s what the JTA wrote: “There was no indication that Greg Gianforte knew or cared that Jacobs was Jewish when he allegedly threw The Guardian political reporter to the ground on Wednesday evening and broke his glasses, leading to misdemeanor assault charges. But that has not stopped online commenters from making the connection on platforms frequented by the alt-right, a loose right-wing movement that includes white nationalists and anti-Semites.”
After Greg Gianforte, the Republican House candidate in Montana, was charged with assaulting a reporter for The Guardian on the eve of Thursday’s special election, public reaction ranged from rank disgust on the left to mild chastening, and amused mockery, from many on the right.
Mr. Gianforte’s behavior, at his campaign headquarters Wednesday night, was either “outrageous,” as Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House minority leader, put it, or “totally out of character” — the tempered assessment from Representative Steve Stivers, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “We all make mistakes,” he added.
The Guardian reporter, Ben Jacobs, was deemed “a pajama boy journalist” by the right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh, who said the reporter acted “insolent and disrespectful and whiny and moan-y.” The conservative host Laura Ingraham wrote on Twitter: “Did anyone get his lunch money stolen today?”
Bullies will always find a way to blame the victims. Perhaps it’s because Jacobs might look the part of the milquetoast journalist, who, unable to be a “real man” and make a contribution to whatever, has to content himself by observing from the sidelines and making snarky comments in an attempt to compensate for his perceived shortcomings. (I wonder if it would have made a difference had this incident taken place in New York of California rather than Montana.)
At least I can take comfort in knowing that I spent the extra bucks to get the unbreakable variety of eye-wear.