Ben Shapiro and Larry O’Connor take us down memory lane with former Rep. Bob Etheridge’s (D-NC) physical altercation with a student reporter in 2010. In the video posted by O’Connor at the time, the student asked Mr. Etheridge if he fully supported the Obama agenda. Etheridge strong-arms the kid, repeatedly asking him whom he works for; the North Carolina Democrat eventually issued an apology over this incident. Yet, the point that Shapiro is trying to make is that Etheridge never faced an inquisition from the news media the same way Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte (R-MT) is facing right now over body slamming The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs. Of course, this is out of line and totally unacceptable. But right now, we have discussions about whether Donald Trump is responsible for this due to his bashing of the media? It’s ludicrous.
Now, I think there’s a good argument that voters ought to avoid pulling the lever for Gianforte. But they also should have been encouraged to do so with Etheridge by the same media drooling over Gianforte; Democrats should have been forced to answer questions about the incident. They weren’t. Which is one reason that so many Republicans think the media is unfair.
Again, Gianforte stepped in it, and he will have own the consequences for committing this unforced error. With the exception of professional wrestling and placing unruly people under arrest by police, body slamming a person, especially in the political arena, is just asking for trouble—optics-wise and in the legal department. Mr. Gianforte won last night, but he’s still facing misdemeanor assault charges. Still, the heat brought down on Gianforte and the reluctance, or aversion, to do so with Etheridge and other Democrats is why the media’s trust is sinking like the Titanic.