This Conservative Refuses to Excuse or Ignore Assault

Last night, Greg Gianforte was elected to Congress from Montana’s At-Large Congressional District. In his victory speech, Gianforte apologized to Ben Jacobs, the reporter he assaulted the previous night. I am deeply disappointed in the reaction from many Republicans and conservatives about Gianforte’s actions. Certainly, everyone should be appalled that Gianforte assaulted a reporter, but Republicans and Conservatives should be most of all.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Conservatives were silent. While some rightly condemned his actions, too many said that the reporter had it coming, that he was a liberal hack, that he was rude. This may stun you, but there is actually no proper excuses for assaulting anyone.

Would you have defended Bill Clinton when the Lewinsky scandal broke? Every conservative will say “Of course not.” Defending or dismissing Gianforte’s assault is exactly the same behavior Democrats engaged in with Bill Clinton when the Monica Lewinsky scandal happened. Democrats defended Clinton’s behavior in a similar manner, blaming Lewinsky.

I know many Conservatives often believe that we hold the moral high ground compared to Liberals and the Democrat Party. I can’t say for sure if that is true. If we continue to engage in the behavior many displayed in response to reports of Gianforte’s assault, we most certainly do not hold any version of moral high ground.

Reagan Knopp is the Editor-in-Chief of Oregon Catalyst.

  • Eric Shierman

    Reagan, you deserve a lot of credit for reinforcing the Oregon Catalyst’s credibility. Like a local, I appreciate how you keep these pages focused on ideas and policy while avoiding the mindless devotion to party.

    • Ron Glynn

      First, no one should be commenting on a any situation until the facts of the matter are known. Time and time again, the media gets it wrong. President Obama put his foot in his mouth a number of times by believing initial press reports. Remember Beergate with the professor who was supposedly assaulted by police officer. That was not truly reported initially. Also, when the Michael Brown story first broke, I with my wife driving in my car and heard the first report on the radio. Media had some person in Ferguson who said the police officer shot Brown in the back and then walked up to finish him with a head shot as he lay wounded on the ground. I remember remarking to my wife, “That police officer must have lost his mind.” Of course, the facts later were totally different and the police officer was justified in shooting the punk. I agree with the people who did not prematurely to a report that the reporter was “body slammed” by the candidate. That apparently was not the case by later reports.

  • Oregon Engineer

    The assumption here is that the candidate was the aggressor. are you sure? you are assuming the reporter was the victim are you sure? could it not be that the reporter was the in your face type standing in your way shouting to get a question answered that may or may not have any relevance to the election. Isn’t that a form of aggression such as the school bully getting into the face of his target until the target retaliates? this reporter was not asking questions from the audience in a forum and the candidate did not get off the stage to attack the reporter. aggression should not be tolerated but make sure you know who the aggressor is before commenting that people are being complacent by not condemning the candidate for his actions. was there video? all I heard was the sound bite on the radio.

    • john.fairplay

      It’s not likely the Congressman-elect would have apologized if the reporter was actually the aggressor. I appreciate your point, however, that many people jumped to condemn Mr. Gianforte BEFORE all the facts were known. He has a chance now to show he’s a man of character and this was an anomaly.

  • IhateLiberals

    Are you even aware Mr. Gianforte made a public apology for his actions on election night?

    • Ron Glynn

      Yes, what is your point?

    • Reagan Knopp

      Yes. I wrote this after he apologized.

  • Dick Winningstad

    Reporters are not god. If they persist in verbal assualt then every once in awhile they will get a reaction which is what they want. So then false indignation can be broadcast to harm the victim of the verbal assault.
    Mr. Gianforte was being interviewed by another reporter when this guy barged in. And this was part of a string of harassment hits by liberal reporters on his position on health care. I am not surprised he snapped. I might have too.