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Media World Reacts to GOP Candidate Attacking Reporter: ‘Greg Gianforte Belongs in Jail’

Republican nominee for Montana ”should be arrested tonight. Period. He assaulted a reporter. This must never be acceptable,“ one reporter tweets

After Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs accused Republican candidate Greg Gianforte of physically assaulting him, media professionals and fellow reporters quickly voiced their outrage over the incident on social media.

Jacobs shared his account of the event on Twitter — and received plenty of support. He had been pressing the candidate for details on the costs of Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

New York Daily News justice writer Shaun King wrote that Gianforte “should be arrested tonight. Period. He assaulted a reporter. This must never be acceptable.”

MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin went on to point out that Jacobs broke a story last month “that Gianforte has financial ties to US-sanctioned Russian companies.”

Laurence Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School, said: “It’s hard to view Gianforte’s brutality toward a polite journalist as unrelated to Trump’s incitement of assaultive hatred toward the media.”

The altercation took place Wednesday at Gianforte’s campaign headquarters in Bozeman, Montana. According to Jacobs, he was attacked — “bodyslammed” — by Gianforte as a TV interview was being set up. Jacobs was later taken to an ambulance, where he took a photo of his glasses, which he claims were broken during the fight.

A Fox News crew in Montana later reported: “At no point did Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte.”

However, while the Gianforte campaign confirmed that a physical confrontation had taken place, it disputed Jacobs’ version of events. In a statement released to media, the campaign said that the incident was the result of aggressive and violent behavior by Jacobs, leaving Gianforte no choice but to defend himself physically.

But New York Post columnist John Podhoretz‏ had little faith in the PR team’s credibility, tweeting: “Gianforte‘s press spokesman is a piece of sh—. And an idiot. You don’t lie WHEN THERE ARE WITNESSES AND THE GUY HAS A TAPE.”

FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver quipped: “The third prong of the communications strategy is body-slamming reporters who ask about the CBO score,” before tweeting his thoughts about the political situation on Montana in separate points.

See the tweets, including Jacobs’ initial posting, below.