Quote of the Day

Glenn Reynolds pretty much sums up my feelings on the whole sad affair.

But to be clear, my problem is not with people saying that body-slamming a reporter is wrong. It is. Rather it’s with the predictably hypocritical nature of the outrage. One might almost say that the political class is happy to wink at political violence, until it affects one of their own.

One of the things I really don’t like about following news and politics on a daily (hourly?) basis for so long is how cynical I’ve become about this sort of thing. I’d rather not feel this way, but it’s pretty hard to escape, given the realities.

I can really relate to that second paragraph.

16 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”

  1. “Rather it’s with the predictably hypocritical nature of the outrage.”

    So he’s saying he expects humans not to be human? ;-)

    Something that jumped out at me was, shouldn’t he have named some individuals who who praised “punching in the head” and then condemned Gianforte? He collectivized all such, and strictly speaking, I don’t believe that was true.

  2. “You won’t like what comes after the Tea Party, ” is an adage from Reynolds the wife and I talked about today. He’s correct, as usual.

    I don’t think Montana was the clarion call, but the fact the media made such a big deal of it shows that a candidate can beat up a lefty reporter and suffer no consequences. That cannot be good for lefty reporters, or the left in general (somewhere in PA Whetherman cringes). The Left shouldn’t have talked it up. Now everyone knows.

    The Left says it’s OK to ‘punch a Nazi’ so long as we redefine Nazi to mean “anything Right of Clinton”. That’s basically most people between NYC and LA, or about 90% of counties in the USA (according to the last electoral stats).

    The Left expects the people at home to roll over like Boehner and Ryan and the rest of the GOP caucus. Good luck. We hate those idiots, too.

    The Left won’t like how this ends. Neither will I, but apparently they are set on the path and we’re going along for the ride. I just hope history makes it short ride.

  3. “…a candidate can beat up a lefty reporter and suffer no consequences.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by “no consequences.” Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault, and as I understand things, had the reporter suffered more serious injuries, it could/would have been felony assault. I don’t know what that means in Montana, but in Pennsylvania, I believe misdemeanor assault can get you more than a year in prison.

    I don’t expect that to happen, and I understand it is unlikely that a misdemeanor conviction will prevent Gianforte from serving in congress. But I think it is a bit early to declare there are “no consequences,” and who knows? He could get a leftie judge who seeks to “make an example” out of him. Probably there is as much chance of that, as of getting a rightie judge who will let him walk.

    1. “I don’t know what that means in Montana…”

      Found this:

      What Punishment Does Greg Gianforte Face if Convicted of Assault?

      Montana Code § 45-5-201 states that the punishment for misdemeanor assault is a fine of up to $500 and a jail sentence of up to six months.

      Montana’s legal code also makes clear that there are four circumstances under which a person can be found guilty of assault. First, the person purposely or knowingly caused bodily injury to another person. Second, they negligently caused bodily injury to another person using a weapon. Third, they purposely or knowingly made physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with a person. And fourth, they purposely or knowingly caused “reasonable apprehension of bodily injury” in another person.

      In order to be found guilty of misdemeanor assault, then, the accused must have purposely injured the victim, and so causing accidental bodily harm would not count. But how exactly does Montana define “purposely and knowingly”? Well, § 45-2-101 states that purposely means the person has the “conscious object to engage in that conduct or to cause that result.” And knowingly is defined by the fact that the person “is aware that it is highly probable that the result will be caused” by their actions.

      The state also defines “bodily injury” as “physical pain, illness, or an impairment of physical condition and includes mental illness or impairment.”

      So do Greg Gianforte’s actions qualify? It’s safe to say that he caused bodily injury to reporter Ben Jacobs, as Jacobs was taken away from the scene in an ambulance, being brought to a hospital and receiving an x-ray. While there is no video of the incident, there is audio of it. On the tape, Jacobs is heard asking a question about health care when Gianforte suddenly snaps and attacks him, yelling, “Get the hell out of here! Get the hell out of here!”

      In a statement released after the incident, the Greg Gianforte campaign did not deny that this incident took place. Rather, they said that Jacobs was being provocative and was asked to leave. However, in the audio of the incident, Gianforte never asks Jacob to leave.

      Several other reporters who were present for the incident have backed up Ben Jacobs’ account, including Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna, who said, “…Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him…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!’”

      If Gianforte were to be sentenced to six months, I wonder which portion of his two-year term would have the least consequences for him to serve it? Would a judge be flexible about that?

      1. “Get the hell out of here!” pretty much is telling someone to leave. I don’t think good manners is a factor one way or the other.

    2. You are correct; there may be personal consequences. However…

      “Your first hit is free,” says my prosecutor friend. A first-offender who did not cause bodily harm won’t get more than a suspended sentence and a fine. Two of my friends are prosecutors, and I have had to testify in similar cases. They always end the same, even when the defendant failed to show up in court (he still got a suspended sentence and no jail after an FTA).

      My point was that by making such big hay over the issue, the media inadvertently created the appearance that there were few or no consequences when you beat them up.

      CNN wants to make it look like a thing. They even flew reporters in last-minute to go on air and report that voters said they supported the beat-down.

      That’s just stupid on their part, especially considering this whole election was unique in a lot of ways. It’d be crazy to find CNN fanning the flames of their own victimization. Or would it? Not sure anymore with those guys.

      1. Confessing that I’m just being argumentative, the difference about this case is that it’s high-profile. But, I don’t know which way that could sway things, when the judge is under national public scrutiny.

        I suspect he/she will want to look neither too harsh nor too lenient, and for sure, not politically motivated. Just thinking out loud, Gianforte may be worse off with a Republican judge than with a Democrat.

        Personally, I suspect Gianforte will be fined the maximum $500 and that will put the affair to bed; except for people crying, rightly, that for a billionaire defendant, that is less than a slap on the wrist.

        I’m withholding assignment of probabilities to my imagined scenarios, but there of course is also the possibility the judge will just acquit him, and tell the world to go jump. I’ve seen that happen when pols are the defendants.

        “the media inadvertently created the appearance that there were few or no consequences when you beat them up.”

        I’m not sure, but I suspect all of the media aren’t effete pussies; some of them might start hitting back. How might that serve for consequences? ;-)

    3. One thing very obviously lacking from any of the media representations of the event is any documentation regarding “the facts.” I’m supposed to believe that, in today’s cell phone and video surveillance environment, there’s no video recording of the incident, no still snapshots, no statements from witnesses? Please.

      It’s stupidly easy to file charges, something else entirely to convict on them in court where “evidence” must be presented, “facts” argued, “decisions” reached, whether those decisions come from a judge or a jury.

      For the moment, the media’s account is the only one getting play; I’m looking forward to the Joe Friday version.

      And the potential civil suit(s) that could come after.

      1. “I’m supposed to believe that, in today’s cell phone and video surveillance environment, there’s no video recording of the incident, no still snapshots, no statements from witnesses?”

        If you listen to the audio recording — from when the Guardian was actively trying to get Gianforte to make a comment — nothing was going on worth documenting, and everything sounded mundane and boring as all hell.

        If you want video, check this out. Looks a trifle one-sided, to me.

        Of course, the assault was well underway before the video portion starts, but if you use the audio portion as captured separately, it is only a matter of a few seconds between “nothing” and the crashing sounds.

        I’m not particularly adept with my phone, but, it would take me a lot longer to first, register that something worth recording was going on, and next, get out my phone and put it in gear.

        Last, Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna said what she did in her capacity as a reporter. The other witnesses who were there were/are well advised to keep their mouths shut until they provide sworn testimony or depositions.

        That I know from experience, both as a witness and a defendant. Chances are media staff (like cameramen) are well briefed on that, and so-instructed by their employers.

  4. The civil war is approaching. The left has brought in on and won’t quit trying. No settlement is possible because they won’t keep any agreement. So it is surrender, fight or go our separate way.

  5. Except that that fox reporterette has changed her story. And while we are at it, how’s come there is (apparently) no video of the incident.

    1. “…that fox reporterette has changed her story.”

      That false interpretation of what Alicia Acuna said — as originated and published by Miss Reliability, Laura Ingraham — has since been debunked. Acuna did not change her story in any substantial way, though I would expect her employers pressured her to do that. In any case, her account does not depart from the reality that can be detected solely from the audio recording, as much as the account provided by Gianforte’s weenies. Her account sounds right on the money.

      Maybe the reason there is no video of the brief encounter is, nothing had been going on and so no cameras were running?

      But, there were other witnesses, so maybe we should all wait for their testimony in court, or their depositions. (My advice to them would be, not to talk to Laura Ingraham. Now or ever.)

  6. if Gianforte had hired a body guard, the Guardian reporter could have been beaten unconcious and robbed of his equipment, and nobody would know/care. The lesson is that money buys privilege and immunity.

  7. “The lesson is that money buys privilege and immunity.”

    Right on. But Gianforte is a Man of the Little Guy, doncha know? Who do you think voted for him?

    But speaking of body guards, if I was a reporter these days, I’d make sure my photographers had at least one spare camera tripod or light stand the could be swung like a baseball bat.

    Oh, them consequences! ;-)

  8. These are the same traitors that openly cheered a right leaning journalist getting punched in the face by a masked blackshirt. Bodyslamming is the least they deserve.

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