Dem candidate gets fed-up with socialist questions, fires back at WaPo journo with unabashed F-bomb

A Maryland Democrat nominee for governor has apologized for his “inappropriate language” in responding to a reporter’s question by dropping an f-bomb.

Ben Jealous snapped at Washington Post reporter Erin Cox after she asked him if he was a socialist Wednesday during a press conference.

“Not to put too fine a point on it, do you identify with the term socialist?” Cox asked after Jealous had just dismissed the label.

“Are you f—ing kidding me?” the former leader of the NAACP replied. “Is that a finer point?”

“Thank you, sir,” was the reporter’s response.

Jealous, who has been endorsed by Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, is challenging  Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Portrayed as a far-left candidate by Republicans and his opponent, Jealous laughed at and dismissed the claims before his outburst.

“Him calling me a far-left socialist, that’s what the Tea Party called President Obama, it’s what Barry Goldwater called Martin Luther King,” Jealous said. “And when you see conservatives like Hogan name-calling, you realize that they’re scared.”

Jealous explained that he is a “venture capitalist,” and “what I do is invest in growing businesses,” as he went on to criticize Hogan’s record.

He appeared to be irritated with Cox’s repeated question about socialism when he dropped the f-bomb.

Hogan’s campaign took the opportunity to call him out.

“The governor believes in raising the level of political discourse in our state and in our country, and cursing at reporters asking questions is the exact opposite of that,” Doug Mayer, Hogan’s deputy campaign manager, said, according to Fox News. “We need more people in public office who understand that words and tone matter, not fewer — we already have plenty who don’t in Washington, D.C.”

Jon Thompson, communications director for the Republican Governors Association, posted a video of the incident, calling it “unhinged.”

Jealous later tweeted his apology to the Washington Post reporter, noting that he is a “former journalist” and explaining again that he is a venture capitalist.

He appeared to finally answer the question more directly in another tweet.

Political analysts noted that the candidate should have clearly answered the initial question and that in today’s sound-bite driven media, the profanity would drown out the message Jealous was trying to convey.

“It just makes people ask, well, what is he?” Todd Eberly, a political scientist at St. Mary’s College, said, according to The Washington Post. “And why doesn’t he just answer the question?”

“In a click-driven media narrative, the only thing that gets covered is the curse word,” political scientist Mileah Kromer of Goucher College said.

Frieda Powers


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