May 29, 2017

Quadrant bomb fantasy and attack on Guardian journo take contempt for media to a scary new level

When a leading cultural magazine fantasises about murder, when a political candidate chokes and punches a journalist, we’re in a very different place, writes journalist and media-watcher Christopher Warren.

It’s hard to tell what’s most disturbing about the vicious assault on Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs by US Republican candidate Greg Gianforte: the assault itself? Or the fact it’s been shrugged off by the political elite?

The evening before a special election for Montana’s single Congress seat, the candidate was questioned about healthcare reform. He deflected the question and then beat up the questioner.

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8 thoughts on “Quadrant bomb fantasy and attack on Guardian journo take contempt for media to a scary new level

  1. electme

    I was just wondering…in the same way there’s a rule about being the first to mention Hitler, is there a rule about drawing conmclusions about popular culture and societies attitude to journalists from Die Hard movies? Cause I think you just broke it.

    1. Raaraa

      It is a direct example though. Calling on it in this example would be akin to calling Godwin’s Law on a documentary about WW2 Germany.

  2. The Cleaning Lady

    I recall thinking during the “Arab Spring” how vital, yet challenging, it would be to inculcate in oppressed cultures, used to government control of the media, an understanding of the value of the public airing of disagreements in civil discourse. I imagined people resorted so frequently to violence in some of those countries perhaps because they had no outlet to express their disagreements through words, and so felt they had to resort to actions.

    We who have never lived under an oppressive regime do not realise how vigilant we must be to protect our democracies.

    The RSL’s motto, adopted after WWI, is “The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance”. (It varies a little between states.)

    1. The Curmudgeon

      Of course, the words of the motto long pre-date the RSL.

    2. Charlie Chaplin

      And how do you inculcate it in a failed democracy that deems it acceptable to release a journalist’s personal details to the media because she questioned a government department’s policies? Or declares another journalist’s publication of documents well within the public interest “illegal” and refuses to extend him the protections his citizenship supposedly ensures? Or graphically fantasizes about blowing up the presenter, panel and audience of a popular current affairs TV program on the public broadcaster in the leading conservative literary journal?

      If this is vigilance, I’d hate to see inattention!

  3. Charlie Chaplin

    And in other news of the world, journalists ARE being killed.
    Dissent – and all reports of it- are the first casualties in totalitarianism.

  4. AR

    Unfortunately it’s not true that journos. “…defaulted to their craft. All called it out.” – you will find many rightard publictions, from Takimag to Vdare saying “the snowflake faggot deserved it and let’s have more of this”.
    I seem to recall a presidential candidate saying how he would like to punch interlocutors. Wonder what happened to his campaign?

  5. AR

    Re journos. “…defaulted to their craft. All called it out.” alas, it is not just the raving RWNJ sites that celebrated Gianforte’s behaviour – the Drumpfster, fresh back from his Euroland pacification tour, has just tweeted the same “he deserved it” stuff.
    Dark Daze indeed for press freedom.

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