The Guardian‘s Ben Jacobs really really REALLY doesn’t want to be the story.
Which is why the political reporter who was recently body slammed by a congressional candidate keeps releasing public statements about GOP Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte, who is being sworn into Congress today.
“I’m terribly uncomfortable being part of the story,” Jacobs said after the ordeal. “And now it seems I’ve become the story.”
At a campaign event in Montana last month, Gainforte suddenly bubbled up with rage when Jacobs questioned him about the CBO scoring of the House healthcare bill. Gianforte’s staff at first denied the boss’s culpability and said the reporter had prompted physical contact.
But after he won his race, Gianforte, facing a misdemeanor charge, changed his tune. He was suddenly remorseful and apologized profoundly to Jacobs in a letter in which he said he was donating $50K to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Jacobs readily accepted the lawmaker’s apology.
At the time, Jacobs released a “trial statement” on the matter. He said he looked forward to interviewing Gianforte in Washington.
Gianforte got off easy with a light sentence of anger management classes, a fine and community service.
Jacobs — who really doesn’t want to be the story — didn’t bat an eye (no pun intended) when he donated his broken glasses to Washington’s Newseum.
For those covering Wednesday’s swearing-in of Gianforte, below is yet another statement from Jacobs.
“I welcome Congressman Gianforte to Capitol Hill where I’m confident he will live up to his pledge to champion a free press and the First Amendment. In the courtroom last week, he openly offered to do an interview with me when he came to Washington and I look forward to taking him up on that in the coming days.”
Honestly, if you didn’t want Jacobs body slammed or stuffed into a locker before, maybe you do now.