Scoop and the Montana Election

The internet newsite has issued a story about the physical persecution of a British reporter in the recent Montana special Congressional election. This is entitled: “The lesson of Greg Gianforte: Bashing journalists, even literally, isn’t much of a liability.” The Republican candidate Gianforte, ultimately successful, took exception to a question by Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, and, according to the report, when Jacobs refused to withdraw after being “asked politely” to do so, Gianforte: 

…body slammed him and punched him, breaking his glasses, all of which was later corroborated by audio from Jacobs’ recorder. Jacobs got a trip to the hospital and one hell of a story to tell his kids… opens its article with this quote from Waugh’s novel Scoop followed by an editorial comment:

“He had once seen in Taunton a barely intelligible film about newspaper life in New York where neurotic men in shirt sleeves and eye-shades had rushed from telephone to tape machine, insulting and betraying one another in surroundings of unredeemed squalor”. – “Scoop” by Evelyn Waugh.

Ah, for print journalism’s days of yore, when every reporter had a flask in the top drawer of his desk, editors used to wobble through the office in the late afternoon after spending the first half of the day reviewing copy at the bar, and staffs were packed into giant warehouse newsrooms thick with grime and sociopathy.

The libertarian-conservative website concludes from all this that, for journalists, “real grit and danger” such as Waugh described “do still exist” even in Montana. 


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