I’m not sure why Montana has special elections on Thursdays, but they did.
So CNN reports:
Republican Greg Gianforte has won the special election for Montana’s open US House seat, CNN projects, defeating Democrat Rob Quist and capping off a whirlwind final 36 hours of the campaign that saw Gianforte being charged for allegedly assaulting a reporter.
In his acceptance speech, Gianforte apologized by name to Ben Jacobs, the Guardian reporter who accused the Republican of “body-slamming” him and breaking his glasses.
“When you make a mistake, you have to own up to it,” Gianforte told his supporters at his Election Night rally in Bozeman. “That’s the Montana way.”
Saying he was “not proud” of his behavior, he added, “I should not have responded the way I did, for that I’m sorry. I should not have treated that reporter that way, and for that I’m sorry, Mr. Ben Jacobs.”
Members of the supportive crowd shouted, “You’re forgiven.” …
Gianforte was considered the favorite heading into Thursday’s election to fill the seat once held by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, but that was before the altercation with Jacobs on Wednesday. The Gallatin County Sheriff’s office later charged Gianforte with misdemeanor assault.
The congressional race in Montana pitted two diametrically opposed candidates against one another. Gianforte: an articulate millionaire and tech entrepreneur who sold his company RightNow Technologies to Oracle in 2012 for $1.8 billion. Quist: a first-time candidate and Montana folk singer who’d amassed moderate Montana fame in the 1970s as a member of the Mission Mountain Wood Band.
The early crowd of voters at Gianforte’s rally were standing by the candidate, unfazed by the events of the previous 24 hours.
“We whole-heartedly support Greg. We love him,” said Karen Screnar, a Republican voter who had driven all the way from Helena to support Gianforte. Screnar said she and her husband have known Gianforte for the better part of a decade. After Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault, Screnar said she was only “more ready to support Greg.”
“We’ve watched how the press is one-sided. Excuse me, that’s how I feel. (They’re) making him their whipping boy so to speak through this campaign,” Screaner said. “There comes a point where, stop it.”
Her husband, Terry, chimed in that he believed Gianforte was “set up.”
First: As my high school political science teacher pointed out, this demonstrates a major problem with early voting, which reportedly comprised 60 percent of the votes cast. Republicans have generally opposed early voting, but it may have benefitted the GOP this time since voters cacn’t change their minds once their early ballots are cast.
The biggest issue is brought up by Joe Concha:
Has the media become so unpopular that body-slamming journalists can actually be good for one’s reputation?
That appears to be the case for Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), who lost his temper and allegedly became physical with Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs less than 24 hours before voters went to the polls in a closely-watched special election.
Gianforte went on to win comfortably in the reliably red state. But here’s the real kicker: The candidate reportedly raised $100,000 in the aftermath of Jacobs’ claim that Gianforte “body-slammed” him and broke his glasses.
So one would think the backlash against Gianforte, who local police charged with misdemeanor assault, would be fairly swift. Except it’s anything but. …
The Drudge Report also has as its lead headline Friday morning, “FIGHTING FOR MONTANA!” with a link to an ABC News story of Gianforte winning.
Celebrating this kind of behavior cannot stand. The general sentiment on social media from some on the right, and its apparent, is that Jacobs and the media as a whole somehow deserved this.
And while it has been noted in this space on multiple occasions that many in political media are absolutely biased, dishonest and narcissistic, the argument will not be won by resorting to violence.
Think about it: Who wins in if this sort of thing happens again? Does the coverage improve? Does the media suddenly get scared straight into delivering the news straight? Of course not.
Bob Woodward said it best early this week in capturing the mood against the media and why so many Trump supporters were probably happy with Gianforte’s actions.
“I worry for the business, for the perception of the business, not just Trump supporters, they see that smugness,” Woodward said. “I think you can ride both horses, intensive inquiry, investigation, not letting up … at the same time, realize that it’s not our job to do an editorial on this.”
It’s hard to disagree with that sentiment from one of the few lucid and measured pros remaining in the business.
According to a September survey by Gallup, 86 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of Independents distrust the media.
Keep pointing out bias and deceit and unprofessional tone when you see it. Twitter and other forms of social media give everyone a megaphone.
But think twice before cheering Gianforte’s actions. Getting physical solves nothing. It could make the problem worse.
As someone in this silly line of work for 30 years who has been physically threatened, I must say the sanctimony on this issue is a bit much. Jacobs threatened a 16-year-old at a Conservative Political Action Conference and bragged about it on Twitter. If you believe in karma, Jacobs had it coming. (And perhaps reporters will finally grasp the virtues of the Second Amendment and concealed-carry rights.)
That’s pretty much what Kurt Schlichter argues:
I know it’s theoretically wrong for a Republican candidate to smack around an annoying liberal journalist, but that still doesn’t mean that I care. Our ability to care is a finite resource, and, in the vast scheme of things, millions of us have chosen to devote exactly none of it toward caring enough to engage in fussy self-flagellation because of what happened to Slappy La Brokenshades.
Sorry, not sorry.
And that’s not a good thing, not by any measure, but it is a real thing. Liberals have chosen to coarsen our culture. Their validation and encouragement of raw hate, their flouting of laws (Hi leakers! Hi Hillary!) and their utter refusal to accept democratic outcomes they disapprove of have consequences. What is itself so surprising is how liberals and their media rentboyz are so surprised to find that we normals are beginning to feel about them the way they feel about us – and that we’re starting to act on it. If you hate us, guess what?
We’re going to start hating you right back.
Cue the boring moralizing and sanctimonious whimpering of the femmy, bow-tied, submissive branch of conservatism whose obsolete members were shocked to find themselves left behind by the masses to whom these geeks’ sinecures were not the most important objective of the movement. This is where they sniff, “We’re better than that,” and one has to ask ,“Who’s we?” Because, by nature, people are not better than that. They are not designed to sit back and take it while they are abused, condescended to, and told by a classless ruling class that there are now two sets of rules and – guess what? –the old rules are only going to be enforced against them.
We don’t like the new rules – I’d sure prefer a society where no one was getting attacked, having walked through the ruins of a country that took that path – but we normals didn’t choose the new rules. The left did. It gave us Ferguson, Middlebury College, Berkeley, and “Punch a Nazi” – which, conveniently for the left, translates as “punch normals.” And many of us have had personal experiences with this New Hate – jobs lost, hassles, and worse. Some scumbags at an anti-Trump rally attacked my friend and horribly injured his dog. His freaking dog.
So when we start to adopt their rules, they’re shocked? Have they ever met human beings before? It’s not a surprise. It’s inevitable.
Team Fredocon, when they aren’t, “Oh well, I never!-ing” about Trump and his uncouth supporters, moan about the threat of “Whataboutism,” the tendency for people to explain their sub-optimal behavior by asking, “What about so-and-so? He did the same thing and you didn’t care.” But while “whataboutism” may be a logical fallacy, it’s still a devastatingly compelling argument.
Humans – especially normal Americans – won’t tolerate a double standard. But double standards apply all the time to liberals – they do it and it’s fine, but we do it and it’s Armageddon. The same jerks screaming for O‘Reilly’s scalp worship Bill Clinton and his drunken, perv-enabling pseudo-wife.
Or take the Trump-Russia black hole of idiocy – please. Remember how Obama whispered to the Russkies, “I’ll have more flexibility after election” and that was cool? But – according to an anonymous source reading a bar tab over the phone to some credulous WaPo hack – one of Trump’s relatives ordered a vodka once and it’s TREASON TREASON TREASON!!!!!!
It certainly applies to, “What about when they hit conservatives with a lock in a sock and the liberal media didn’t care?” Yeah, what about that? Where was the sackcloth and ashes act from Schumer, Pelosi, and Felonia von Pantsuit when our side was being bloodied and beaten? There wasn’t one, because the left supports us getting bloodied and beaten. It likes the zesty zing of violence. It makes them feel big and tough and edgy, except that it starts being a heck of a lot less fun when we right-wingers start adopting the same rules and punching back.
The left is shocked that the right has now stopped caring about the old rules, since for so long the left relied on the right to subordinate its human instincts and conform to those rules even when the left ignored them. We refused to stoop to their level, and for a long time, we were “better than that.” But you can only have one side being “better than that” for so long before people get sick of being the butt of the hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy is poison not because it makes people stop knowing right from wrong, but because it makes its victims stop caring about right and wrong. Ben Jacobs got smacked around, and millions of us just don’t give a damn.
We all know it was wrong for Greg Gianforte to beat up Ben Jacobs. But we also know the general attitude of the media is that when we conservatives get beat-up by leftists it’s perfectly excusable – even laudable – and thanks to the fact that Twitter is forever, we now know that Ben Jacobs himself specifically thinks it’s A-OK to slug conservative kids. So can someone tell me why anyone should be shocked that we conservatives refuse to devote one iota of caring to poor Ben’s wedgie?
Speaking of Lincoln: This country is not as divided as it was around the Civil War. However, hatred of the news media is at unprecedented levels. And hatred of our fellow man based on his political views different from yours is going in the wrong direction, even within the parties (Hillary! supporters vs. Comrade Bernie’s apparatchiks, NeverTrumps vs. Trump’s fan club), let alone between the parties. I predicted some time ago that we were winding up toward assassinations of politicians and their supporters. I suspect you can add to that group journalists too.
If Schlichter is right, deescalating has to start somewhere. Will someone have to die first?