Following the stunning reported assault of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs by Montana GOP candidate Greg Gianforte, a Democratic congressman is calling out Trump for creating the environment that encourages such behavior against the media.
In a tweet, Gerry Connolly, the Democrat who represents Virginia’s 11th district, says people shouldn’t be afraid to call out Trump for his contributions to this violence.
Physical violence and abuse of media are hallmarks in Trump era. Disgusting. We need to call it out.
— Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) May 25, 2017
Throughout the campaign and during his time in the White House, Trump has repeatedly attacked the media, especially when he’s in front of his supporters at campaign rallies.
In a speech in February, the president called out the media as “the enemy of the people” and the “fake news.”
It’s no surprise then that someone, even a Republican candidate for Congress, would take the president at his word and treat a reporter as an “enemy of the people” by assaulting him for simply asking a reasonable question about health care policy.
Instead of apologizing, despite the audio that shows it was Gianforte who escalated the encounter with Jacobs after being asked a simple question, the Republican candidate – of course – blamed the reporter and called him a “liberal journalist.”
Each time this happens, not only should the perpetrator face legal and political consequences for harming a member of the press, but Trump himself should be held to account for the rhetoric that has motivated such behavior.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.