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New York Congressman Threatens Reporter

New York Republican Congressman Michael Grimm didn’t appreciate some of the questions that a local news reporter asked after last night’s State of the Union Address:

Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm physically threatened NY1 political reporter Michael Scotto at the conclusion of an interview in the Capitol Rotunda following Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

Grimm’s threats came at the end of a brief interview in which he discussed the president’s speech, calling the address “divisive.”

Scotto then tried to ask the congressman about the ongoing federal investigation into his 2010 campaign fundraising:

“And just finally before we let you go, we haven’t had a chance to talk about some of the…” Scotto began before Grimm cut him off.

“I’m not speaking to you off-topic, this is only about the president,” said Grimm, before walking off camera.

“So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances,” Scotto said before tossing back to the station. But as the camera continued to roll, Grimm walked back up to Scotto and began speaking to him in a low voice.

“What?” Scotto responded. “I just wanted to ask you…”

Grimm: “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—–g balcony.”

Scotto: “Why? I just wanted to ask you…”

[[cross talk]]

Grimm: “If you ever do that to me again…”

Scotto: “Why? Why? It’s a valid question.”

[[cross talk]]

Grimm: “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”

Here’s video of what happened after Scotto tossed it back to the studio but the camera kept rolling:

In a response issued after the incident, Grimm continued to be defiant:

“I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests. The reporter knew that I was in a hurry and was only there to comment on the State of the Union, but insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview, because I did not have time to speak off-topic. I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. I doubt that I am the first Member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last,” reads the statement.

Of course, Grimm still doesn’t address the campaign finance investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. J-Dub says:

    He certainly does not come off as someone deserving of respect. He seems like more of a bully. Would he have treated a woman like this? Or even a man as large as himself?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  2. J-Dub says:

    Not to mention that if someone asks you about illegal behavior and you threaten to throw them off a balcony it kind of makes you look guilty as charged.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 0

  3. John Peabody says:

    No, and No.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. James Pearce says:

    I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect….

    From other people.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 0

  5. Rob in CT says:

    @James Pearce:

    “Professionalism and respect” = deference and submission.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  6. wr says:

    Well now that Christie is mired in legal troubles, I’m sure this guy will be touted as the new frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. He’s a bully and a thug, but the person he threatened to cripple was obviously a liberal, since he’s a reporter, so he needs to be elected to higher office.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  7. Moosebreath says:

    “I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests.”

    Because giving the Congressman a free chance to speak on camera to a major station reaching his constituants is the Congressman doing the station a favor. Alrighty, then…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  8. Stonetools says:

    I guess if he was black, we would all be calling him a thug.
    Hey, I still call him a thug.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  9. Franklin says:

    I thought this was how all New Yorkers talk?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  10. gVOR08 says:

    I frequently see complaints that the MSM are quick to identify Republicans in scandal stories but don’t identify Dems. As it was not mentioned by Doug, or in the linked article, Mr. Grimm is an R. As though you couldn’t figure that out from Mr. Grimm’s remarks about the President.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  11. al-Ameda says:

    The dialogue there could have been lifted from an episode of The Sopranos.

    It’s simple, all Grimm had to do was say, “thank you, I gave you my thoughts on the SOTU, and I’m finished here. Have good evening,” and leave it there. Just another crude SOB.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  12. JKB says:

    @Franklin: I thought this was how all New Yorkers talk?

    That’s old New York, not the new metrosexual New York.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  13. rudderpedals says:

    Grimm made some awful choices that left his political life hanging by a thread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  14. al-Ameda says:

    @gVOR08:

    I frequently see complaints that the MSM are quick to identify Republicans in scandal stories but don’t identify Dems. As it was not mentioned by Doug

    Just to follow up: Is Doug considered to be part of the “Main Stream Media”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. ernieyball says:

    @gVOR08: New York Republican Congressman Michael Grimm…

    Maybe the item has been edited since you read it but this is what I see at 9:35 am cst.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    They say that “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” This A-hole puts the lie to that. 0 to total pu$$y in 30 seconds. Not even tough enough to face a simple question and politely decline to answer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  17. Surreal American says:

    Sounds like the first amendment could use a litte bolstering from the second amendment. So, wingnuts, what do you say? Stand your ground laws for reporters?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  18. edmondo says:

    It looks like Chris Christie has found a running mate!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  19. J-Dub says:

    As a Marine, maybe he was channeling his inner-Col. Jessup:

    “I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “thank you”, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. gVOR08 says:

    @ernieyball: Apologies. Read it twice and apparently missed the reference. Still true of the NY1 story. I think. I should perhaps check my optical prescription.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. C. Clavin says:

    There’s got to be a Grimm’s fairy tale joke in here somewhere.
    What a pu$$y.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. ernieyball says:

    @gVOR08: I should perhaps check my optical prescription.

    You and Quincy Magoo!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8GTHXTEvIc
    (Do not attempt. Cars can not drive on Roller Coaster Tracks or Electric Power Lines…or Winter Snow in the South.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Rafer Janders says:

    Grimm: “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”

    Grimm likes to break boys in half?

    That, to me, is the creepiest part about this whole thing — that when he wanted to make a threat, that’s where his mind immediately went.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. Rafer Janders says:

    “I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests.”

    Ah, it’s the old “it’s OK because I was annoyed” defense. As we can all recall from when we were children and tried that out on our parents, it gets you an automatic pass on your behavior.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  25. JKB says:

    “Reminder: Before politics, former Marine Michael Grimm was undercover FBI agent ‘Mikey Suits’ in the Gambino family,” Robert A. George of the New York Post adds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. An Interested Party says:

    Oh my, that PJ link was fun…all that whining about how the meanie media only attacks Republicans while leaving alone the Democrats who are the bigger meanies…this whine-fest should of been expected, considering the source who shared the link…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  27. bill says:

    @J-Dub: ex marine/fbi agent- i’d say he could care how big this guy was. he’s a lawyer too, funny!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. MarkedMan says:

    You know, that was a good question. For all you stand-your-grounders, what do you think. When the Rep threatened to throw the reporter off the balcony, would he have been justified in pulling out a gun and shooting him?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. Anonne says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Only if Grimm was black.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. bill says:

    @MarkedMan: sure, but an ex fbi agent/marine would have disarmed him pretty quick. and i don’t think there’s any leeway about carrying a weapon in a federal building- even for biased reporters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. Tyrell says:

    Is this about that Richard Sherman guy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0