It has really not been a good past 24 hours for the Republican Party. First, President Obama knocked it out of the park with his best State of the Union address of his presidency. After that, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers completely bombed in her prime-time debut when giving the Republican response. On top of that, Tea Party lawmakers were busy calling President Obama a ‘Socialist dictator’ and calling for his impeachment.
Well, to add to the pile, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), who is in the middle of an investigation into campaign-finance fraud, was approached by a reporter for television station NY1 after the State of the Union Tuesday night. Grimm only wanted to discuss the SOTU and provide typical Republican talking points in response. However, the reporter decided to ask him an additional question regarding the ongoing investigation. Grimm didn’t take too kindly to that, as you’ll see.
As the video shows, Grimm stomped off after the reporter, Michael Scotto, asked the question. While Scotto was trying to wrap up the segment, Grimm came back and confronted Scotto while the camera was still rolling. Grimm then said this:
“Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f***ing balcony…No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”
Let me remind you. This is an actual Congressman who serves in the United States House of Representatives. This isn’t a character from The Sopranos. What we saw in that video is a Congressman threaten to kill a news reporter on live TV. Obviously, Grimm and his staff realized they needed to explain Grimm’s words and actions. So Grimm went ahead and released a statement:
“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.”
Even though you wouldn’t think it possible, Grimm’s statement actually makes the situation worse. First off, there is no hint at an apology. Another thing, he doesn’t seem to see any issue with THREATENING TO KILL somebody on live TV. In his mind, he was just a little rushed and a little annoyed, and he told a nosy reporter off. Sorry, when you threaten to throw someone off of a balcony and break them in half, you are doing just a little more than telling them off.
This is straight criminal behavior, the kind you expect to see from a true sociopath. We shouldn’t have our news media afraid to confront our elected public officials with legitimate questions. Heck, they shouldn’t be scared to ask them completely silly questions. We cannot have a man like Grimm in Congress at all. He needs to go. Now.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).