A question for all the conservative politicians and media loudmouths criticizing Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs for going to the hospital and telling cops about his assault by Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte (who won the election yesterday, by the way): Would you just take it if a random person body-slammed you to the ground at work? Do you expect me to believe you would react the same way if a Fox News reporter (say, Jesse Watters) was treated the same way by a Democrat politician?
I call bullshit.
I know we’ve entered the age of macho preening and inconsiderate behavior towards everyone now that Agent Orange is in the White House (e.g. the video of him shoving his way to the front of the NATO pack for a photo opportunity yesterday), but once you start endorsing physical attacks on reporters who are just doing their jobs, how soon do you announce it’s okay to punch someone in the nose because they said something you disagreed with?
Are we on the verge of sanctioning physical attacks a la “The Purge”? Can you now tackle and pummel a waiter because he didn’t bring ranch dressing with your chicken wings? Cold-cock the woman in front of you at the supermarket checkout line because she has a full cart? Ice-pick anyone who dares ask you a question about public policy at a constituent town hall?
It comes down to this: must the entire course of our civil society be reduced to yet another WWE match, or will we have loftier standards for public behavior by our public officials?
I think we should reach higher — somewhere around the level of civility we teach our kindergarten-age kids.