GOP Rep. Michael Grimm isn’t sorry for threatening to break a reporter in half and throw him off a balcony

"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" (UPDATE)

Topics: Michael Grimm, Michael Scotto, ny1, balcony, break you in half, State of the Union 2014, State of the Union, sotu, SOTU 2014, GOP, Republican Party, ,

GOP Rep. Michael Grimm isn't sorry for threatening to break a reporter in half and throw him off a balconyMichael Grimm (Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron)

UPDATE: Grimm has finally offered a sincere apology, even going so far as to offer to take Scotto to lunch. Aww!

Here’s Scotto’s tweet announcing he had accepted Grimm’s mea culpa:

ORIGINAL POST:

There were roughly a quadrillion GOP rebuttals to the President’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, but the only response from a Republican that people are likely to remember came from New York Rep. Michael Grimm, who, while on camera, threatened to physically maim a NY1 reporter.

After NY1 journalist Michael Scotto attempted to transition his Q&A with Grimm from an assessment of the president’s State of the Union address to a discussion of Grimm’s alleged campaign finance violations, Grimm abruptly ended the interview. Apparently unaware that the camera was still running, Grimm then proceeded to loom menacingly over Scotto, telling him, “Let me be clear to you: You ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this fucking balcony.”

After Scotto responded, saying essentially that he was just doing his job, the two men spoke over one another for a moment before Grimm ended the debate with another dose of macho posturing. “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough,” Grimm told Scotto. “I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”

The altercation almost immediately went viral, but while one would expect a scandal-plagued Republican congressman — who represents a district that went for Obama, no less — to be conciliatory and apologetic in the wake of such a public meltdown, Grimm was anything but.



In a statement to the press, Grimm explained his side of the story:

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.

So there you have it: Michael Grimm is the real victim here. And if you say otherwise, he’ll wring your freaking neck.

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith, and email him at eisquith@salon.com.

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