Battle Rattle

Congressman who threatened reporter on TV is Marine veteran

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One of the most popular videos on YouTube today is a clip  showing Rep. Michael Grimm, a Republican and Marine veteran from Staten Island, threatening a reporter from New York City local news station NY1 with physical violence following a brief on-camera interview. 

It’s hard to hear what Grimm says in the clip to reporter Michael Scotto, but the New York Times  has a transcript and description of the interaction:

“What?” Mr. Scotto said. Before he could explain that he was just trying to ask him a question, Mr. Grimm became unhinged.

“Let me be clear to you,” he said in a low voice, before using a profanity and warning that he would hurl Mr. Scotto from the balcony.

There is some cross talk between the two men which was not audible on the video before Mr. Grimm concluded with an insult and another threat.

“No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough,” he said. “I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”

Today, NYT reports, Grimm is not backing down or apologizing for his actions, saying in a statement that he was doing NY1 a favor by granting its reporter an interview, and became angry when the reporter veered off-topic and asked a question about illegal fundraising allegations.

“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,” he said in the statement.

Grimm, who served as a Marine on active duty and in the Reserve from 1989-1997, deploying to Iraq in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, is no stranger to controversy and has been known to get testy when challenged.

A 2010 story by reporter Tim Mak noted that Grimm channeled another famous Marine, Jack Nicholson’s Col. Jessep from A Few Good Men, when an opponent accused him of wearing awards he didn’t rate in a campaign photo:

Grimm told the interviewer on NY1’s Inside City Hall that Allegretti “sleep[s] under a blanket of freedom that I helped provide… you should just say thank you.” The original line, said by Jack Nicholson’s Colonel Jessep to Tom Cruise’s Lieutenant Kaffee in the film, was that Kaffee “sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer you just said ‘thank you’ and went on your way.”

It would appear that Grimm thinks we just can’t handle the truth. What do you think?

Comments

  1. Daniel Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    If you get off track we marines will put you back on track . What’s the problem?

  2. jared Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Rep. Michael Grimm is in the right. You push to hard, we as Marines will push back harder! That reporter should have known his place and been respect full and great full that he got an interview in the first place at all. I support u Rep. Michael Grimm, Semper Fi Brother.

  3. Joseph Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    If a stupid NFL player college educated at Stanford, can get away with belligerence on National TV. A hard working Marine that fought for the freedom of speech of hippies and douchbag reporters that can only make a name for their lives with controversy, should have equal freedom to tell a reporter off. If he were a dangerous unstable air e he would of hurled him, instead he have a warning shot to back off. I think it’s something civilians need to understand. It’s like using racial comments on someone of different backgrounds it’s insulting. So is being stupid I. Front of a marine giving you his time. He already have more time than any civilian can ever imagine. ( or as Col. Jessel would say Fathom ). Semper-Fi

  4. Jim Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    As much as I support former marines (myself included) and respect the service/sacrifice that he has made, I think he was 100% wrong in threatening the reporter. That’s not how problems get solved. Rep Grimm is under investigation by the FBI, it’s not a rumor or unsubstantiated investigation. He should have expected that this sort of question could come up and even if he was ambushed by the reporter, he could have and should have handled it differently.

  5. Matt Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    You guys are making up stories. I clicked the link, and the article says he apologized. Which is also what Fox News reports, and the new york daily news. Can’t you guys atleast tell the truth if you are going to claim to be a news outlet?

  6. You people are crazy Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    I love how the first three commenters are trying to use any excuse to absolve Congressman Grimm of his behavior. He’s accountable to the public for his actions and he knew or should have known the allegation regarding his campaign was fair game.

    He threatened seriious bodily harm against a reporter. Stop dehumanizing a reporter because you hate the media. Mostly they’re just people with jobs to do like the rest of us.

  7. D. B. C. Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    As a Marine, I was taught that integrity is part of who we are. If someone comes at me as the reporter did AND my integrity is intact, I would not dignify the reporter with an answer. A simple “it’s being investigated, and when the investigation is complete, I’ll comment” would have sufficed. The way he acted was as a bully — and does not add any sort of honor to our Corps.

    He’s an elected official. He’s supposed to be a leader. He’s acting like a thug. Too many of our elected officials act as if they are above the law, and I will not tolerate that, especially from a brother Marine.

  8. WHibshman Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    D.C.B. Well said! That sort of behavior is unacceptable and not sure if we use this term anymore “unbecoming of a Marine.” When you are entrusted with a public office you must always be mindful that your actions are subject to public scrutiny. He needs to either learn how to respond appropriately or find a more suitable line of work.

  9. VNVet Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Without knowing ALL the details which always seem to be lacking in these ‘reports’. Who can justifiably say with confidence anything at all. I did not hear the interviews , so can’t comment on that, I don’t know if the congressman was a combat veteran or not. etc; etc; So i choose not to comment. Too many people jump to conclusions nowadays with little or NO information to support it. I respect the fact that he was a Marine, now as far as the record of most congressman nowadays, well I do know this: it’s not good. That’s my two cents and I’m sticking to it.

  10. oofda Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Congressman Grimm’s actions were out of line and indefensable. He is an elected official and should be prepared to answer questions regarding his conduct. If he can’t do that, he should get out of politics. As a retired Marine, I object to those using his service to excuse him. And by the way, he was in a Communications Battalion- valuable service in a bad place- but he was not a grunt and doubtful that he fired a shot in anger. Also, a photo of him in USMC uniform that he used in his campaigns had him wearing Army unit citations (two ribbons) that he was not authorized to wear- and for which his excuse was ridiculous. He is an embarassment to the Corps.

  11. Hector McCrary Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Grimm for President! Semper Fi

  12. Bill Says:
    January 31st, 2014 at 8:59 am

    I’d say both the reporter and the Congressman were in the wrong. The reporter was granted first interview after the President’s SOTU address, and should be respectful enough to keep his questions directed toward the subject at hand, that address to Congress. Instead, he takes the opportunity to practice a little bit of good old fashioned press corps ambush tactics. He should have had a better idea of what would be the result of trying to ambush a US Marine!

    The Congressman was in the wrong for losing his temper, then making the threat in such a public forum. He would have gotten much more effective of a rebuke by telling the reporter he was cut off from any future interviews, ever. Reporters live and breathe by their access to news makers, and this reporter’s editor would soon have him doing fluff stories.

    However, I doubt anyone would have been too disappointed to see the little twerp thrown off the balcony!

  13. William Perkins Says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 6:48 am

    That’s the problem with the media ever since Vietnam. No one has grabbed any of these twits by the stacking swivel and given them an education.

    I personaaly would like a match up with Geraldo.

  14. Sam Says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Michael Scotto look like the type that fight back? I would have put both my thumbs through Grimm’s orbits. Man enough…so fuck with a real man, why don’t you?

  15. DuBOis Says:
    February 3rd, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Any publicity is good publicity. The State of the Union was a bust so the press pulled this piece out of what would have been nothing or bottom of page 12 in the WSJ and gave it the viral treatment. Much to do about nothing.

  16. Neutron73 Says:
    February 4th, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Congressman Grimm needs to be blown out. He represents the Corps? What a disgrace! He can’t handle a tough question about being an ethics violator? So he resorts to threats of physical violence because, the “horror”, he doesn’t like the question? Get him out of there!

  17. Ladfnda7 Says:
    February 6th, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    THUG is the correct description.

  18. Bill is weird Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Bill said:
    “However, I doubt anyone would have been too disappointed to see the little twerp thrown off the balcony!”

    You have a problem, man. You must think in some other dimension or something, because in this universe, people would be horrified another human being was thrown off the balcony, no matter his profession as a journalist.

    Shame on you, you psychopath.