Politico reporter Melanie Zanona reported Thursday that Republican Representative Don Young of Alaska physically shoved her and told her to get out of his way, “Damnit” as she was interviewing a differing lawmaker outside the House chamber.
Rep. @DonYoungAK just physically shoved me and told me to get out of his way “damnit” as I was trying to interview another lawmaker outside the door of the House chamber.
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) April 4, 2019
Apparently this isn’t his first rodeo at shoving female reporters, NBC‘s Rebecca Shabad noted that he had done this to her as well.
He once did this to me, too. https://t.co/ZVww4rTe8j
— Rebecca Shabad (@RebeccaShabad) April 4, 2019
And Buzzfeed‘s Paul McLeod says he’s seen Young do this multiple times:
I’ve seen him do stuff like this multiple times, even to people half his size.
— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) April 4, 2019
Josh Jakob reminded everyone that his is a “running theme for GOP congressmen”:
— Josh Jakob AIA (@JJakobDesign) April 4, 2019
RealMGrimm is a MAGA supporter, who describes himself thusly: “Marine combat veteran, former FBI Agent and proudly served NY-11 in Congress 2011-2015, #MAGA #AmericaFirst”. The House’s wealthiest representative, Republican Greg Gianforte of Montana, got elected after he body-slammed reporter Ben Jacobs of Britain’s Guardian newspaper, on May 24, 2017.
President Trump praised Gianforte for body-slamming the reporter.
“Any guy that can do a body-slam … is my guy,” Trump told supporters at the rally, adding that he was concerned at first that the incident would jeopardize Gianforte’s campaign.
“I said: ‘Oh, this is terrible, he’s going to lose the election.’ Then I said: ‘Well, wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him,’ and it did,” Trump said.
There is no video of the incident because taping video isn’t allowed in that hall, but Zanona reports that she does have audio.
People couldn’t help but observe that this kind of violence seems to get ignored while the media focuses on smelling of hair:
That’s the kind of ‘personal space’ violation that should get more attention.
— catinshoe (@catinshoe) April 4, 2019
Obligtory: But did he try to smell your hair?
— 🌊 #IWBIWISI #ReleaseTheReport #FreedomOfThePress (@brett5355) April 4, 2019
Here’s a video someone linked to of Young’s “best hits:”
Is he above the law as a 24th term representative? No.
In case there’s any doubt in anyone’s mind about this, Donald Edwin Young, 85, of Fort Yukon, AK is just as liable as anyone else to being charged with assault for laying his hands on another person.
Hope you’re ok, @MZanona.
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) April 4, 2019
It’s very odd how our media hyper focuses on non-violent encounters while these very dangerous episodes seem to pass without much fanfare.
It’s not okay to abuse the press. It’s not okay to shove women. It’s not okay to push anyone.
The press is part of our democracy, it is part of our freedom. All politicians are annoyed by the press, but they don’t use or call for violence against the press. This reporter wasn’t even questioning Young. She was interviewing someone else. He viewed her as okay to be shoved just for doing her job.
This is part of an ongoing escalation against the freedom of the press, led by Republicans and emboldened by the Republican president’s relentless hate speech against the press.
Image: Rep. Young yells out “Yeah!” during President Trump second State of the Union address.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.