The State of the Union was Tuesday night! DC got its hair done and went to watch President Obama regale a captive nation with stories about meager but sustained economic growth and how Congress is basically the worst, but 2014 is a new year and the sun will come out tomorrow so turn that frown upside down, kiddo!
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) did not, in fact, turn his frown upside down. Instead, he threatened to throw NY1 reporter Michael Scotto off a balcony after being asked about alleged campaign finance irregularities.
You know, like you do.
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.” [[cross talk]]
Grimm: “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”
Later, Grimm released a statement in which he failed to apologize, generally blamed the whole thing on the pesky unprofessional reporter, and sort of hinted towards more physical threats to come:
“I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview in lieu of several other requests…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 certain I won’t be the last.”
Grimm, a former FBI agent, should learn two things from this episode:
1) Don’t threaten reporters with physical violence.
2) If you do threaten reporters with physical violence, don’t do it when the reporters’ camera crew is still filming B roll. You’ll look pretty unhinged!
UPDATE: On Wednesday, Grimm released a second, less-tone deaf statement.
“I was wrong. I shouldn’t have allowed my emotions to get the better of me and lose my cool. I have apologized to Michael Scotto, which he graciously accepted, and will be scheduling a lunch soon. In the weeks and months ahead I’ll be working hard for my constituents on issues like food insurance that is so desperately need in my district post Sandy.”