walkitout: (Default)
[personal profile] walkitout
An increasingly normalized thread in the Republican party is attacking reporters and/or the media. Generally speaking, these attacks are verbal in nature. In Montana, however, things have recently taken a turn for the crazy.


Short form: Guardian reporter in candidate's office asking questions about the health care bill (the one recently scored by the CBO). Another reporter, from Fox News, and her camera crew are also in the office, but not recording. Someone is recording audio (presumably the Guardian reporter). The reporters are in basic agreement that the candidate then physically attacked the Guardian reporter, who later went to the police. Misdemeanor assault charges have been brought against the candidate; sheriff saying it didn't rise to the level of felony assault and there is the interesting sidelight that the sheriff has given money to this candidate's campaign, apparently.

OK, so let's just start with the most amazing part of this story, which, IMO, is NOT that a crazy candidate physically assaulted a reporter. It's that the crazy candidate did this on (audio)tape, in front of multiple witnesses, including, and yes, I'm about to be sexist here, because I'm reflecting the sexist world in which I was raised, one of whom was a woman. (ETA: If you are too young to have been raised in that sexist world, yay! There used to be norms among men about beating each other up in front of women.)

Who does that?

I'll tell you who does that. I mean, other than, this guy, who I sincerely hope voters in Montana now know better than to elect, but honestly, as I noted to my husband, when you put Montana up next to Idaho for unusual, Montana wins pretty much every time, because there's fewer people and more space, so people looking for a place to freely exercise their nuttery in the lower 48 but who do not care for the heat tend to go there.

Here is an article about who does that, and how it starts young, and what can be done to redirect people who suffer from this collection of disabilities:


It's not a great article, but it does get one thing really right. It breaks down a monolithic conception of psychopathy into modules of disability, and explores which ones might be modifiable. One of the particular modules of disability is -- and it is portrayed brilliantly in this article, without being specifically addressed -- is a total lack of ability to take perspective. The "lock" that people with this set of issues suffers from is relentless. When this candidate beat down a reporter in front of another reporter, I doubt it even occurred to him that the other reporter would have an issue with this. And if it had, he wouldn't have cared. It certainly didn't occur to him what would happen to his political career once it all came out (in front of reporters! Dude!).

A sizeable minority of our population similarly suffers from problems with perspective taking. Fortunately, most of these people have enough cognitive abilities and/or fear to know better than to do stupid shit like this (ETA: In front of reporters. Who are recording.) Unfortunately, a lot of them still really _want_ to do stupid shit like this. So if you are in Montana, and you recognize what a bad idea it is to have a representative that can't see things from more than their own perspective -- whatever that perspective might be -- please vote for anyone but him.

Date: 2017-05-25 03:54 pm (UTC)
nodrog: the Comedian (Comedian)
From: [personal profile] nodrog

He may have figured that no one who mattered, would mind.  The problem is being right about who matters.  President Trump's first press conference was “a f---ing firing squad” where he hauled off on the “chattering classes” and talking heads for their treatment of him.  In such a climate, body-slamming a reporter might be perceived as no more politically harmful than punching a paparazzi - might indeed redound to his credit, or so he may have thought.

Re: Thunderdome

Date: 2017-05-26 02:29 pm (UTC)
nodrog: (auto_da_fe)
From: [personal profile] nodrog
The Washington Post agrees with you:

[correction:  With me, more.  It's been obvious for a long time that the Hollyork infotainment cartels are in their own little world, bracketing the “flyover states” they scorn - and the harvest of contempt and disregard they've diligently sown they're reaping now.  Problem is, two wrongs don't make a right.]

The angry forces that propelled President Trump’s rise are beginning to frame and
define the rest of the Republican Party.

When GOP House candidate Greg Gianforte assaulted a reporter who had attempted
to ask him a question Wednesday night in Montana, many saw not an isolated
outburst by an individual, but the obvious, violent result of Trump’s charge that
journalists are “the enemy of the people.” Nonetheless, Gianforte won Thursday’s
special election to fill a safe Republican seat.

“Respectfully, I’d submit that the president has unearthed some demons,” Rep. Mark
Sanford (R-S.C.) said. “I’ve talked to a number of people about it back home. They
say, ‘Well, look, if the president can say whatever, why can’t I say whatever?’ He’s
given them license.”

Trump — and specifically, his character and his conduct — now thoroughly dominate
the national political conversation.

Traditional policy arguments over whether entitlement programs should be overhauled,
or taxes cut, are regularly upstaged by a new burst of pyrotechnics...


Edited Date: 2017-05-26 02:37 pm (UTC)

Re: only comparable instance

Date: 2017-05-26 02:32 pm (UTC)
nodrog: Rake Dog from Vintage Ad (Default)
From: [personal profile] nodrog
> I sincerely doubt you will find examples _in the United States_
> in which being known to have physically assaulted reporters worked
> to benefit the politician who did it.

Well, it didn't do him any harm!

Nonetheless, Gianforte won Thursday’s
special election to fill a safe Republican seat...

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