Grimm Reaper: NY Rep Suggests Reporter Tossing To Relieve Tension After State Of The Union

220px-Mike_Grimm200px-Caber_2Rep. Michael Grimm (R., Staten Island) apparently wanted to unwind after the State of the Union with a little good-old-fashioned Reporter tossing from the Capitol Rotunda. A traditional form of exercise, RT (as it is called) is highly aerobic and involves throwing an adult reporter from a stationary position with no more than three paces before the launch. This is much more difficult than tossing the caber in Scottish game because the journalists tend to be odd sized and flexible. They are the second least aerodynamic of profession (after Sumo wrestlers). There is also the problem of congressional ethics rules and criminal assault concerns. However, if Grimm looked in ill-humor, it was nothing like the mood of voters.

Grimm had given an interview to NY1 political reporter Michael Scotto where he called the President’s speech “divisive.” Scotto however was going to end the interview with a question about an ongoing federal investigation into his 2010 campaign fundraising. The Justice Department has charged 47-year-old Diana Durand with using straw donors to exceed the maximum allowable contribution to Grimm’s campaign committee. Frankly it is not a huge amount and I am not sure why Grimm could not handle the question. She allegedly offered to reimburse four friends if they contributed to the campaign because she has maxed out on individual contributions.

Grimm’s reaction was . . . well . . . grim:

After the end of the segment, the camera continues to run and Grimm returns for this exchange:

“What?” Scotto responded. “I just wanted to ask you…”

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…”

[[cross talk]]

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.”

Grimm released a statement following the incident.

“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.”

Frankly, despite the slightly menacing approach, I do not believe that this was an actual threat that would be the basis for any criminal charge. However, there is the question of House ethics rules. The very first rule of the House is that members mush “Conduct themselves at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the
House.” Threatening to throw reporters from great heights is probably not in accordance with the spirit of that rule.

On the speech itself, I watched it with my kids. I do not think much of State of the Union addresses which are increasingly well-orchestrated photo ops with little true content. As in the past, I was most struck by how out of touch all of these politicians seems, including the President. Democrats had almost Stepford Wife faces of glee and adoration at the President. Republicans carefully managed their applauding so not to appear too supportive or too oppositional. However, that chamber left the appearance of hundreds of people secure in some highly ornate political bunker — entirely unconnected to the anger and disgust of most voters. The day of the speech, the result of a new major poll showed that over half of Americans disapprove of the president’s job performance. Likewise, nearly six in 10 say they are uncertain, worried or pessimistic about what he will do with the remainder of his presidency. Congress showed the same dismal approval rates. Yet, there they were. Smiling and ecstatic in a communal celebration of the monopoly power exercised by their two parties on this country. It was truly otherworldly.

40 thoughts on “Grimm Reaper: NY Rep Suggests Reporter Tossing To Relieve Tension After State Of The Union”

  1. The reference to your not man enough remark from Grimm was to the reporter a hate remark, because the reporter is openly gay….Of course the MSM will not report on that ………….

  2. Michael Grimm’s bullying sickness: Who’s the real “thug” here?
    A trash-talking football player gets more hatred than an ethically challenged Republican who threatens violence

    Because he verbally, not physically, roughed up San Francisco 49er Michael Crabtree after the NFC championship game 10 days ago, Sherman was globally denounced as a “thug” and worse, as ugly racial stereotypes and flat-out projection defined the talented scholar from tough Compton by way of Stanford University as a criminal. Stand Grimm and Sherman side by side, there is only one “thug,” and it’s the GOP congressman.

    It’s hard not to compare the video of Grimm’s macho menace with the YouTube-immortalized serial bullying of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. That’s not entirely fair, since Grimm represents Brooklyn and Staten Island, not Jersey. But as someone who was born in Brooklyn and spent my childhood on Long Island, I recognize this brand of Northeastern Republican – the blue-state bully who trades on the Democratic Party’s cultural association with women and minorities, and competes with a macho swagger. Swept into office in the Tea Party wave of 2010, the New York Times describes Grimm as “an avid weight lifter who earned the nickname Mikey Suits for his often flashy style.”…

    Apart from charges of campaign finance and business wrongdoing, Grimm has been criticized for overall boorish behavior. In September Brooklyn magazine reported that he spent the Friday before the government shutdown boozing at a Bay Ridge bar where he got attention for getting handsy with his female companion before the two disappeared into a bathroom stall for an extended period. ”I was surprised someone so sleazy could be a congressman,” one witness told the magazine.

    In an earlier bar altercation in 1999, Grimm scuffled with a fellow patron, threatened him with a gun, then told police he’d been assaulted. When he returned to the bar with cops to search for the Caribbean man with whom he’d scuffled, he reportedly said, “All the white people get out of here.”

  3. From the DCCC:


    According to a bombshell report from the New York Times, Congressman Michael Grimm, together with a man under FBI investigation for embezzlement, raised more than $500,000 dollars in tainted campaign cash by taking contributions in excess of federal limits, taking contributions from foreign nationals, setting up “straw donors,” and personally receiving envelopes filled with cash.”

  4. US Rep. Michael Grimm (R., Staten Island) is a lowbrow troglodyte and a disgrace to the people he claims to be representing in NY’s 11th congressional district.

  5. You called that speech the state of the union, you must not have been to a pep rally in high school


    “Mr. Hardt, in a posting on NY1’s website, wrote that this was not the first time Mr. Grimm had gotten into a heated confrontation with a reporter for the station.

    “Following an interview with NY1’s Errol Louis in December of 2012, the congressman blew his top – off-camera,” Mr. Hardt wrote.

    “After the interview,” he wrote, “Grimm became red-faced and started yelling at both Louis and me, alluding to settling the issue by ‘taking it outside’ with our political anchor – acting as if he were in a bar instead of a TV studio.””


    “NY1 ItCH: A Grimm Tale of Disunion in Washington”–a-grimm-tale-of-disunion-in-washington

  7. All Grimm had to do was walk away and the reporter would have looked like a jerk. If he behaves like this in public with cameras all around, it’s frightening to think about how he behaves in private.

  8. Professor Turley summed up exactly how the SOTU addresses have become. Circus acts are more honest.

  9. My count may be off by one or two, but as I recall, the 2013 SOTU address included about 40 or 41 proposals to make things better for the country.

    I did not agree with all of them, but did agree with many. if not most. Two passed. Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act, and did not default on the national debt, although the latter was up for grabs for a time.

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