Yesterday, we were all shocked to learn that Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte had physically attacked Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. Congratulations to everyone involved.
As captured on audio tape and corroborated by witnesses, Gianforte, enraged at Jacobs’ questioning, grabbed the reporter and “slammed him” to the ground, breaking his glasses. Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault.
Jacobs was not seriously harmed. If he was seriously harmed, of course, that would be very bad. But in a case like this one—a politician freaking the fuck out and attacking a reporter who is doing his job, on the eve of a big election—everyone wins.
THE REPORTER wins, because, let’s be honest, a national politician flipping out and slamming you while you’re doing your job (assuming no serious injury) is probably the best possible story a political reporter could get on any given day. You’re instantly a Hero For Journalism! You’ve endured a vicious physical attack from a would-be national figure simply for Doing Your Job and Spreading Truth to the Public! Any decent reporter would happily trade a pair of glasses for a story like this.
THE POLITICIAN wins because reporters are the only class of people less popular with the general public than politicians are. Very few people would refuse to vote for someone just because they body slammed a reporter.
THE PUBLIC wins because they get a funny, distracting story to talk about, instead of being forced to focus on the depressing reality of our broken electoral system.
Any politicians who wish to disgrace themselves and valorize me by hurling me to the ground in a hilarious rage when I was Just Doing My Job, please email me. The summer tends to be a slow news time.