Greg Gianforte (AP/Bobby Caina Calvan)

After body slamming a reporter, Greg Gianforte received a donation from director of Sinclair Broadcasting Group

The Montana Republican's fundraising doubled the day after he assaulted Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs

Matthew Rozsa
June 28, 2017 8:13PM (UTC)

The Sinclair Broadcasting Group has a conservative bias, a fact which may explain the recent revelation that its vice president and director donated $1,000 to Greg Gianforte on the day after he body-slammed a liberal reporter. Frederick G. Smith made the donation on May 25, the day after Gianforte was elected, according to a report by Politico. He had previously donated $1,000 to Gianforte's campaign in March.

Smith wasn't alone in rewarding Gianforte for his unprovoked assault on Jacobs, which broke the reporter's glasses and sent him to the hospital for X-rays. His campaign raised $118,000 on the day after the incident, according to Federal Elections Commission records, more than twice what he had raised within the previous 24 hours.


Gianforte pled guilty to charges of assault against Jacobs and, while avoiding jail time, was sentenced to community service and anger management classes, according to a report by The Washington Post. He will also remain under court supervision until his suspended jail sentence ends in November and will have to pay $385 in fines and court costs.

Gianforte is also donating $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which he promised to do in his public apology to Jacobs.

"Notwithstanding anyone’s statements to the contrary, you did not initiate any physical contact with me, and I had no right to assault you," Gianforte admitted in a public letter published earlier this month.


This isn't the first time in American history that right-wing violence against progressives has been politically rewarded. One of the most famous incidents in the history of the American Senate, when Rep. Prescott Brooks of South Carolina violently caned Sen. Charles Sumner of Massachusetts over an anti-slavery speech the latter had delivered, resulted in Brooks receiving canes as gifts from his supporters.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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