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Dismayed Journalists Condemn Trump For Praising Assault On Guardian Reporter

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The Last Outlaw
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PostThe Last Outlaw on Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:36 am


From The Guardian

Jamiles Lartey of The Guardian Reporting in New Orleans wrote:

Journalists expressed disgust with Donald Trump’s remarks at a rally Thursday night in Montana, where he praised and joked about the unprovoked assault on a Guardian U.S. journalist by the state’s congressman, Greg Gianforte.

“Gianforte is a criminal. He pled guilty to [assault]. The president is congratulating a criminal on committing a crime,” said New York Times correspondent Binyamin Appelbaum.

Trump’s comments “mark the first time the president has openly and directly praised a violent act against a journalist on American soil,” added New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg.

Trump fondly reminisced about the physical assault that occurred on May 24 last year when Ben Jacobs, the Guardian’s political correspondent, asked Gianforte a question about healthcare policy in the course of a special congressional election in Montana. At Thursday’s rally, Trump said that anyone who could perform a body-slam, as Gianforte did on Jacobs, was “my guy,” and that news of the attack, which occurred the night before the special election, probably helped Gianforte win.

Trump finished his account of the physical assault by saying of Gianforte: “He’s a great guy. Tough cookie.” The partisan crowd at the rally in Missoula in western Montana clapped and cheered.

Axios national political reporter Jonathan Swan replied: “Nothing tough about jumping a reporter for asking you a substantive question. Just unhinged,” before also pointing out that Gianforte and his staff lied about the assault to police and the public. “Only reason Gianforte got caught is because there was a tape,” Swan said.

A spokeswoman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday: “Any violence or intimidation against a journalist is completely unacceptable.”

Katharine Viner, the editor-in-chief of the Guardian, said on Friday: “At a time when reporters around the world are being harassed, arrested and even murdered these are incredibly irresponsible comments, which fly in the face of press freedom and send a dangerous message to autocrats and dictators around the world.”

She added: “The world’s press would welcome a clear statement from the US government that it remains committed to the rights of journalists everywhere to do their work without fear of violence or repression.”

CNN reporter Jim Acosta, who was at the rally in Montana, observed: “The disturbing part of Trump’s jokes about Gianforte was the effect on the crowd. I saw one young man in the crowd making body-slam gestures. He looked at me and ran his thumb across his throat. I talked to him after the rally was over. He couldn’t stop laughing.”

A number of journalists pointed out how Trump’s comments are especially troubling this week, coming as evidence mounts that Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is directly linked to the presumed murder of journalist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul earlier this month.

“Tonight [Trump] celebrates an assault on a reporter in Montana at the same time as his Administration tries to minimize the murder of a reporter in Turkey. His words matter, and they reveal his character,” said New Yorker and CNN contributor Jeffrey Toobin.

“Doing this after a journalist was apparently murdered by an autocratic regime — while complaining that you yourself are covered unfairly – is quite something,” added New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.

The Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron referenced a statement issued by Guardian U.S. editor John Mulholland on Thursday night soon after the event, noting that the president’s remarks run “the risk of inviting other assaults on journalists both here and across the world.”

Mulholland’s statement continued: “We hope decent people will denounce these comments and that the president will see fit to apologize for them.”

This is absolutely pathetic.  A sitting President of the United States praising a Congressional candidate for assaulting a journalist.  This is worse than the game Limbo.  The major difference is you don't have to ask, "How low can you go?"  All you have to do is turn on your local and national news, and watch Trump's Twitter feed.  If he cries "Fake News" as he often does, keep watching.  Two week minimum, it will come out that the original report was actually... THE TRUTH!  In the meantime, both of these gentlemen, and I use that term very loosely, need to be replaced.  The people of Montana deserve better.  The people of the United States of America deserve better.  Oh, by the way, despite evidence to the contrary, right is right, wrong is wrong, and for Gianforte was wrong for body slamming the reporter, and Donald Trump is dead wrong for praising him for doing it.

Just saying

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