I had no idea why at the time, but that was the unbidden thought I had upon seeing Michael Grimm (R-NY) directly behind Eric Cantor (R-VA) at a press conference on May 29th. He was, according to some, “not invited”. But, there he was, within cheek-kissing distance behind Cantor. Puzzling, since these GOP photo ops are carefully scripted, and they wouldn’t want Grimm to be there, since he’d just been indicted on 20 counts of federal fraud and tax charges:
House Republican leaders have carefully distanced themselves from Grimm since his indictment on charges of underreporting income and employing undocumented immigrants at a restaurant he co-owned in Manhattan.
In a press release after the event, Grimm’s office included a photo of him standing just behind and right between House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington.
It could have been – should have been – a simple post-State of the Union interview: young reporter from local hometown cable news station interviews US congressman. But at the end of the interview, Michael Scotto, Washington reporter for Time Warner Cable’s 24-hour newschannel NY1, attempted to ask a question on another topic. We never got to hear the question, though, because Representative Michael Grimm (R – Staten Island and Brooklyn) apparently anticipated the content of the question, and immediately cut Scotto off and walked away. But after it appeared that Scotto had finished his on-camera report and signed off, Grimm came barreling back to threaten him.
Needless to say, the camera was still on. Needless to say, the video has gone viral.
Grimm released a statement following the incident:
“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.”
Uh, pal? If you were in so much of a hurry, why did you have time to come back and physically intimidate Scotto and threaten to “throw [him] off this f**king balcony” and Continue reading →