Did Rep. Grimm Really Threaten to Throw a Reporter Off a Balcony?

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Joanna Schroeder is the type of working mom who opens her car door and junk spills out all over the ground. She serves as Executive Editor of The Good Men Project and is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on sites like xoJane, hlntv.com, and The Huffington Post. Joanna loves playing with her sons, skateboarding with her husband, and hanging out with friends. Her dream is to someday finish her almost-done novel and get some sleep. Follow her shenanigans on Twitter.


  1. Larry Portzline says:

    If a reporter threatened to throw a Congressman off a balcony in the U.S. Capitol, the reporter would be in jail. No question. Plus he would lose his job. So why is Rep. Michael Grimm not in jail for threatening to throw a reporter off a balcony in the U.S. Capitol? And will his constituents do whatever is necessary to fire him?

  2. Mostly_123 says:

    To be fair, I don’t know the precise context of question that preceded the outburst -just an outline of the generalities around it- but from what I know I would say it seemed like legitimate question to a sitting House Representative. BUT regardless, it’s very difficult to imagine anything that could justify that kind of reaction in that situation- journalists ask questions; all kinds of questions, hard questions- that’s the job. Someone in Grimm’s line of work should know that, should expect that, and should welcome his own opportunity there to control his own message, even if it is a subject he wasn’t initially planning to talk about. The last thing Grimm should be is taken aback, let alone outraged & overtly belligerent. 

    Two things about this are telling, and both do not bode well.
    The first is that for quite a long time now (it’s difficult to say where the genesis was- maybe back in Watergate or Iran-Contra) the American right seems to have regarded journalists & the media as the enemy: Not only ‘just’ biased against them by default, but are even actively & religiously devoted to nothing more than thwarting & harming them at every turn. This is not a healthy relationship with the fourth estate, or a tenable attitude to maintain in the long run, especially in an information-based democracy. Generally speaking, such paranoia of the (‘Liberal-liberal-liberal’ ‘Lame-stream’) media is not going to make for better, well-informed, dispassionate, impartial, and analytical representatives. On the contrary, it’s going to make for inflexible ideologues, extremists & one-way views, immune from all introspection; because they don’t trust any of the tools or outlets for achieving impartiality & introspection. 

    Whether that’s the case or not here, Grimm seems to be responding like person who’s been under siege by ‘the enemy’ for years, and his frustration & disdain is at its breaking point. It’s not the utter contempt of one individual that’s so troubling; it’s the broader attitudes and implications that may be underlying it: A mindset of ‘if-you’re-not-with-us-you’re-out-to-destroy-us-and-I-already-know-you-are.’

    The second thing is Grimm’s headlong rush to play his idea of what the ‘man-card’ is – It’s incredibly weak that that is the very first place he should go. By presuming & appealing to his own idea of another man’s gender-based vanity, and trying to do harm by striking for that particular ego spot; it’s not just being recklessly angry- it’s being recklessly angry, and ignorantly regressive. Grimm is projecting his idea (his regressive idea, in my mind) that, regardless of the situation or circumstances, what makes a man is a man’s physicality, and a gender-based ability/responsibility to inflict or deflect physical aggression. Gender is not the axis of power. A real man, a real woman, a real journalist, does the job they’re supposed to damn well do, and asks the tough questions- not just the ones that earn cookies; and not trading blows when it doesn’t go your way, either. This is an interview, that is a journalist. Answer the question Congressman- answer the question. Or don’t- after all, the end, you don’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to. To quote Lyman Beecher, “Never chase a lie. Let it alone, and it will run itself to death.” But don’t think for a minute you that you get a pass on the hard stuff from reporters by bringing intimidation or disparaging epithets onto the table- be it along the lines race, class, gender, ideology, or just good old overt threats of violence. Answer the question Congressman.

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