Politicians are not always happy with the choice of questions thrown at them by some in the the media, but a New York congressman took things to the extreme when he threatened a reporter with bodily harm.
To make matters worse, the incident was caught on camera and the media outlet is demanding a full apology.
At the conclusion of Tuesday’s State of the Union address, U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., was being interviewed in the Capitol Rotunda by NY1 political reporter Michael Scotto.
In wrapping up the interview, Scott attempted to ask Grimm a question about an ongoing campaign finance investigation.
“I’m not talking about anything that’s off-topic, this is only about the president’s speech,” Grimm said before walking away.
After a brief moment, with the camera still running, Grimm returns and unloads on the reporter. The partial transcript, as provided by NY1:
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…”
Grimm: “If you ever do that to me again…”
Scotto: “Why? Why? It’s a valid question.”
Grimm: “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”
In a statement released following the incident, Grimm acknowledged that he “took the reporter to task and told him off.” The statement, courtesy of NY1:
“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.”
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