When Republican Greg Gianforte assaulted reporter Ben Jacobs it shined a bright light on the tribalism that has taken hold within Republican politics. It was perhaps the most glaring example of how many on the right are fighting back against the left wing biased media’s double standards by applying double standards of their own. It was the most glaring example not directly involving Donald Trump anyway.
Some on the right celebrated the assault because the liberal media had it coming. They crowed about the manly Republican taking down a less virile liberal, millennial reporter. It was all pretty sick.
Some on the right tried to split hairs in Clinton-esque fashion about what the definition “body slam” is or they tried to pick apart details from eyewitnesses. Their intent there was clearly to discredit the story and raise doubts about whether it even happened. Some were still engaging in that tactic after Gianforte admitted to the assault and apologized to Jacobs.
I don’t know if there are still any Gianforte “truthers” at work out there. If so they must have an epic conspiracy theory about why Gianforte pleaded guilty and has been sentenced by a judge.
Greg Gianforte, the Montana congressman-elect who was accused of “body slamming” a reporter, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault Monday morning.
Judge Rick West sentenced Gianforte to a 180-day deferred sentence, 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management and a $300 fine along with a $85 court fee.
West originally sentenced Gianforte to a four days of jail time, to be completed in part through a work program, but switched instead to the hours of community service and anger management as those guilty of assault charges are ineligible for the work program.
A misdemeanor assault conviction in Montana carries a maximum penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500, according to the state government website.
Initially Gianforte was denying Jacobs’ accusations. The left is going to hang this around Gianforte’s neck to whatever extent they can so I’m sure the guilty plea represents a desire to put the whole incident behind him rather than drag it out by fighting in court.