Peak Fake Unity - Gianforte Issues Call for Civility in Politics

That I spotted this AP article in the subreddit /NotTheOnion speaks volumes.

It seems Greg Gianforte, the Republican Congressman-elect from Montana, who decked a reporter for asking him a question, is the latest to join the chorus calling for civility in politics. This is like Anthony Weiner calling for thoughtful and judicious use of social media.


Montana’s incoming congressman called for civility in politics on Friday, four days after his conviction for assaulting a reporter who asked him a question about health care.

Greg Gianforte spoke to The Associated Press at his Bozeman home in his first national interview since winning the May 25 special congressional election.

The Republican technology entrepreneur has largely stayed away from the public eye since assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs on the eve of the election until he pleaded guilty Monday to the misdemeanor charge.

Gianforte will be sworn in by House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday, and he is keenly aware he will carry with him for a while the distinction of being the congressman who beat up the reporter.

“I think you can never erase history,” Gianforte said. “I can’t erase it, but I did do everything in my power once the event was over to take responsibility.”

Gianforte isn’t being entirely truthful there. He did eventually take responsibility but initially he tried to blame Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs for the incident. There was at least a day in which GOP yes-men were trying to spin the story as a he-man Republican giving a deserved smack down to an uppity pajama boy fake news reporter. It wasn’t until after he had won the election that Gianforte began to take responsibility. This was likely due to pressure within his party to get the assault behind him as quickly as possible.


Gianforte refused to answer questions about the attack and why his campaign initially released a statement painting Jacobs as the instigator, which contradicted witness accounts, Gianforte’s own apology letter and the criminal charge to which he eventually pleaded guilty.

Instead, he repeated nine times over the course of Friday’s half-hour interview that he had taken responsibility and wanted to move on.

You can hardly expect a politician to answer a question about why he at first tried to lie his way out of a monumentally stupid act.

Rote repetition about taking responsibility when cornered like a rat will make it so the assault and subsequent lying never happened. The tribe will accept him and then without even a flicker of cognitive dissonance they will pillory the next Democrat who gets caught doing something similar.



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