CNBC reports Greg Gianforte, Republican candidate for Montana's at-large House seat, has won. Meanwhile, he is charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly roughing up a reporter for The Guardian, a U.K. paper.
Gianforte has apologized for losing his temper and getting physical, but he ignored demands (by Democrats, naturally) that he withdraw. I do not excuse Gianforte's lack of self-control; people in the public eye are expected to suffer fools, if not gladly, at least with a minimum of grace.
On the other hand, who among you has not watched video of reporters rudely yelling at, thrusting microphones at, and generally harassing public officials and wondered, "Who gave them the right to be unbearably rude? I'd be in trouble if I acted exactly as they do."
I understand public officials often wish to avoid answering questions about their activities, when they should be more transparent. I have no problem with a reporter looking straight into a camera saying, "Congressman Jones has refused to answer questions about this or that issue." Thus inviting the viewer to speculate as to Jones' motives for dodging the issue.
I do have a problem with reporters acting like a mob - jostling, yelling, carrying on like drunk undergraduates. Someone should poll Montana voters to see how many votes Gianforte got because he roughed up a reporter. I'll wager the number was significant, reporters have a crap reputation.