GOP candidate Greg Gianforte
Donald Trump set a hostile precedent for how to treat journalists during his campaign.
By Nida Khan
Journalists have long been the target of attacks, harassment, acts of intimidation, arrests and even death around the world. In this country however, most journalists and most Americans for that matter, have been shielded from some of the harsher realities the press faces in other parts of the globe. That all may be changing now – and it’s not a good thing.
Wednesday night, news broke that Guardian’s reporter Ben Jacobs was allegedly body-slammed by House GOP candidate Greg Gianforte on the eve of Montana’s special election. According to Fox News reporters who were in the room when the attack reportedly happened: “Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him.” They go on to say that they watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter.
Perhaps the most damning part of the entire account is when the eyewitnesses say: “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.”
Prior to the release of the Fox News account, Gianforte’s office put out a defensive statement which included the following: “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.”
This framing of a ‘liberal journalist’ or ‘liberal media’ is nothing new. We’ve heard it time and again from conservative politicians, pundits and the right’s echo chamber for years now (despite the fact that most media isn’t liberal by any stretch of that word).
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Source: The Huffington Post