I am tempted to call Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) a “thug,” except that that term has been declared the equivalent of the n-word, so I will choose my words carefully. Grimm, whose inexcusable behavior has now been grist for discussion on every left-leaning blog and website in existence, was captured on video.
Grimm, who represents Staten Island, is the target of a federal investigation related to his fund-raising efforts. Last night after the State of the Union address, the congressman was approached by Michael Scotto of NY1, who inquired about the allegations against him. Grimm cut the interview short, prompting Scotto to begin wrapping up the session, when Grimm reemerged and began to threaten him physically.
Who would you vote for if the elections were held today?
Grimm later attempted to explain away his behavior in a statement to the press:
I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests. The reporter knew that I was in a hurry and was only there to comment on the State of the Union, but insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview, because I did not have time to speak off-topic.
I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. I doubt that I am the first member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last.
But the camera, as they say, “don’t lie.” Grimm did more than “tell off” Scotto, threatening at one point to hurl him over the [expletive] balcony.
The New York Times devoted nearly 900 words to the story, which is about twice as many as the newspaper of record spent on an encounter between another Congressman and another reporter in 2009. Maybe that’s because the pol in this story, Bob Etheridge of North Carolina, is a Democrat. The student reporter, who approached him on a street in the nation’s capital, a video camera in tow, received more than a tongue lashing. Etheridge grabbed the young man’s wrist then later placed his hand on the back of the man’s neck. This encounter, too, was captured on video:
What a difference media bias makes.
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