Correstion, Please! The Guardian and other mainstream media organs have presented a very distorted characterization of of Republican Representative-elect Greg Gianforte. This article surveys what we know about the body-slamming incident, as well as the body slamming of Gianforte by the media.
A sampling of news articles:
Item: “The angry forces that propelled President Trump’s rise are beginning to frame and define the rest of the Republican Party,” Washington Post writers Karen Tumulty and Robert Costa opined for the Post on May 26, 2017. The Post duo continued: “When GOP House candidate Greg Gianforte assaulted a reporter who had attempted to ask him a question Wednesday night in Montana, many saw not an isolated outburst by an individual, but the obvious, violent result of Trump’s charge that journalists are ‘the enemy of the people.’ Nonetheless, Gianforte won Thursday’s special election to fill a safe Republican seat.”
Item: “Republican Greg Gianforte ‘body slams’ Guardian reporter in Montana.” So ran the headline on May 24, 2017 of The Guardian, a left-wing British newspaper/website, and one of the U.K.’s largest circulation dailies. The following day, the Guardian came back with another article entitled: “Republican candidate charged with assault after ‘body-slamming’ Guardian reporter.” The Guardian story then stated:
The Republican candidate for Montana’s congressional seat has been charged with misdemeanor assault after he is alleged to have slammed a Guardian reporter to the floor on the eve of the state’s special election, breaking his glasses and shouting: “Get the hell out of here.”
Item: A Newsweek/Reuters story datelined May 24 and carried on Yahoo!News the same day ran under the headline: “Broken Glasses and a Body Slam: Montana’s Greg Gianforte and What Really Happened With Guardian Reporter Ben Jacobs.”
Correction: First, some important background and context for the “body slam” that was heard ’round the world. The battle for Montana’s at-large congressional seat might have been off the radar screens of most Americans, but the special election on May 25 between Republican Greg Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist was not going unnoticed by “progressives” worldwide. Indeed, The Guardian, the hard-left champion of Britain’s establishment press, tasked several reporters and cameramen to dog Gianforte as he crisscrossed the sparsely populated Big Sky Country in the election day run-up. The election had been called to fill the seat of Representative Ryan Zinke, who had accepted the position of secretary of the interior in the new Trump administration. Gianforte, a tech entrepreneur, and Quist, a folk singer, held diametrically opposed positions on key issues of interest to Montana voters. Although Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in Montana by 21 points, Gianforte, who had run for governor in November, lost to Democrat incumbent Steve Bullock. Apparently sensing vulnerability, The Guardian and its pro-Hillary/pro-Bernie/anti-Trump MSM allies piled on the Gianforte-Quist race, with many proclaiming that an expected Quist victory would provide a hopeful portent of more Democratic victories in the 2018 congressional elections and signal the beginning of the downfall of “Trumpism.”
This article appears in the June 19, 2017, issue of The New American. To download the issue and continue reading this story, or to subscribe, click here.
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Quist, a Democrat who supported Bernie Sanders for president and brought Sanders into Montana to campaign for him for the House seat, embraces the usual “progressive” agenda: abortion, global-warming alarmism, “renewable” energy (solar and wind), sanctuary cities, acceptance of more Muslim “refugees,” ObamaCare (and even “single-payer” socialized medicine), legalized recreational marijuana, opposition to oil and gas drilling, gun control (favoring firearm registration and banning of “assault-style weapons”), and Obama-style executive orders locking up “public lands.” A great deal was at stake, making the “body slam” charge, which went viral just hours before the polls opened, a strategically critical issue that could have tipped the outcome in the direction that The Guardian and the rest of the Fake News media desired.
Let’s examine first what happened, or allegedly happened, in the “body slam” incident. Unfortunately, we do not have a definitive account, because, at this time, it is still under police investigation, there appears to be no video of the incident, and some of the witnesses who initially backed up the account given by Ben Jacobs, The Guardian reporter, subsequently walked back their stories. It is important to note that, as indicated by some of the stories mentioned above, the MSM herd ran with the “body slam” story immediately, including thousands of times without the quotation marks or the usual “alleged” qualifier.
Dictionary.com defines “body slam” as “a wrestling throw in which an opponent is lifted and hurled to the mat, landing on his or her back.” But is that what happened in the Gianforte-Jacobs kerfuffle, or was The Guardian reporter wildly exaggerating — or worse, intentionally provoking an incident and then lying about what really happened?
Jacobs captured an audio recording of the event, in which he can be heard pressing Gianforte about the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican repeal-and-replace alternative to ObamaCare. Then there is a loud crash, and Gianforte can be heard shouting, “I’m sick and tired of you guys. The last time you came in here you did the same thing. Get the hell out of here.” Jacobs can be heard saying, “You just body slammed me and broke my glasses.”
Jacobs then began a non-stop hero tour of MSM interviews, beginning with one from the ambulance, where he displayed his broken glasses as evidence of the supposedly harrowing ordeal. The ambulance ride may have been for dramatic effect, since he showed no signs of physical harm and said in interviews that he had no confirmed injuries.
Shane Scanlon, a spokesman for Greg Gianforte, offered a different take on the altercation, saying in a press statement: “Tonight, as Greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions. Jacobs was asked to leave. After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground. It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.”
The Scanlon/Gianforte version of the confrontation was immediately denounced, almost universally, by the media as a case of an aggressor blaming his victim, and an example of the violence against reporters unleashed by President Trump’s declaration of war against the “Fake News” media. However, before rejecting the Scanlon/Gianforte account and embracing Jacobs’ claims, basic Journalism 101 requires us to consider the source. Gianforte, the aspiring politician, has an interest in spinning the story to his favor. But are Ben Jacobs and The Guardian free of the same interests? Are they purely driven by the search for truth? Hardly. Were they out to “get” Gianforte from the get-go and bring him down? It sure looks that way (bear with us). Did they intend all along to provoke Gianforte into making outbursts they could use against him, and when that failed, step up their game to provoking, or actually creating, a physical altercation? Those are not far-out speculations.
Again, consider the source. The Guardian, which has been around for nearly two centuries, has been, for at least most of the past century, allied politically and socially with the far-Left: British Communist Party, Fabian Socialists, Socialist International, Labour Party, KGB. KGB? Yes, that KGB, the secret police/disinformation-spy network of the Soviet Union. Richard W. Gott, a reporter and editor for The Guardian for over 30 years (and a boon companion of communist revolutionary Che Guevara) was exposed in 1994 as a paid KGB “agent of influence.” The exposure came from KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky. After initially denying the charge, Gott resigned from The Guardian and admitted he had taken payment, which he referred to as “red gold,” from Soviet Russia.
According to Gordievsky, Gott was not the only Guardianista assisting Soviet intelligence. “The KGB loved the Guardian,” he said. “It was deemed highly susceptible to penetration.” Seumas Milne, Gott’s friend and colleague, who defended Gott and said the KGB charges were “absurd,” worked as a columnist and editor at The Guardian from 1981-2015, when he left to be spokesman for the Labour Party’s socialist leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Although Milne was not publicly identified as a KGB agent, he began his “journalistic” career as a writer for Straight Left, a notorious Stalinist publication of the Communist Party of Great Britain. Milne, like so many other writers and editors at The Guardian, praised and defended communist dictators and dependably supported an agenda that always promoted endowing the state with ever more power and control over the lives and livelihoods of the people.
Here are just a few more tidbits that indicate the hard-left tilt of The Guardian and its lack of objectivity as a media platform:
• Following the U.S. presidential election last November, Guardian feature writer Monisha Rajesh called for President Trump’s assassination;
• In 2012, James Garvey wrote a Guardian column justifying the illegal and immoral actions of disgraced “climate scientist” Dr. Peter Gleick. Garvey, like Gleick, is a global-warming fanatic, so he rationalized that Gleick’s theft of documents from the conservative Heartland Institute, altering of those documents to make Heartland look bad, posting them on the Internet, and then lying about it was OK. “Isn’t his lie justified by the good that it does?” Garvey asked.
• Guardian writer John Harris has rebuked liberals who snicker at “advocates for a single world government,” claiming the “Earth doesn’t seem entirely safe in the hands of the rest of us.” Says Harris: “At times I despair that the only order of things that might actually save the planet from environmental degradation is a global eco-dictatorship.”
• Guardian reporters, columnists, and editors have been among the most obsessed activists for draconian global controls to combat the non-crisis of climate change, labeling those who disagree with them as “climate deniers” and advocating punitive actions against them.
• Guardian reporters, columnists, and editors have been ardently sympathetic to violent demonstrators and rioters of the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements, as well as the similarly violent “antifacist” Black Shirts rioting against President Trump.
When we look at The Guardian game plan in covering the Gianforte-Quist race, it does not take any straining to see that the Gianforte-Jacobs dust-up may have been a last desperate attempt by the extreme ideologues at the British paper to create precisely the incident that they could exploit in precisely the way they did exploit it.
Any objective reader can quickly detect that the articles in the Guardian series on the race are pro-Quist/anti-Gianforte. And not only the articles, but the accompanying video pieces as well. On May 23, two days before the special election, The Guardian ran a video hit-piece on the Gianforte voters entitled “Trump diehards stay loyal in Montana’s ‘white man’s country.’” The title, obviously, is aimed at reinforcing the left-wing media narrative that conservatives are inherently racist and Trump supporters are especially racist. Nowhere in the video does any Montana Trump supporter who is interviewed make the statement that the state is “white man’s country.” Enter Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Commissioner Ron Moody, an anti-Trump Democrat and environmental zealot.
In the video, Guardian reporter Paul Lewis goes to Ron Moody’s home for a sit-down interview. Lewis asks why it is that Trump’s supporters are so loyal. Because, says Moody deprecatingly, “this is white man’s country.”
One day after The Guardian posted Lewis’ “white man’s country” video, his colleague Ben Jacobs scored his now-famous “body slam” coup. The facts do seem to bear out Shane Scanlon’s claim that Jacobs had intruded into a private office area. Jacobs and other reporters for The Guardian, Vox, and other liberal-left media organizations appear to have been pushing the limits for weeks, butting into events, demanding that Gianforte answer their questions. He was under no obligation to cater to their wishes, especially since it appeared that every time he did they simply used the opportunity to slam him.
Let’s be clear, getting slammed by the media (a regular occurrence for conservatives, Christians, pro-lifers, etc.) gives no one the right to “body slam” a reporter, even if that reporter is obnoxious. But we can safely assume that Ben Jacobs was not “body slammed,” and beyond that we do not know. Did Gianforte blow a gasket and go beyond what he should have done? Probably. Did he simply try to grab the recorder, as the press statement said, and Jacobs’ grabbing of his wrist resulted in a tussle? Did they lose balance and fall, or did Jacobs pull him down? Was this a “stunt,” as taught in anarchist and communist “direct action” training to create “propaganda of the deed?”
Following his victory over Quist, Gianforte made a public apology for his altercation with Jacobs. “When you make a mistake, you have to own up to it,” he said. “That’s the Montana way. Last night I made a mistake, and I took an action that I can’t take back. I’m not proud of what happened.”
“I should not have treated that reporter that way, and for that I’m sorry, Mr. Ben Jacobs,” he continued. “That’s not the person I am and it’s not the way I’ll lead in this state.”
That should be the end of the incident, but we know that won’t be the case. It will continue to be cited as evidence of intolerance, incivility, racism, etc., of all who oppose the “progressive” agenda.
Photo: AP Images