WASHINGTON, May 27, 2017 — Famed newspaper editor Horace Greeley, who told a young Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), “Go west, young man, go west and grow up with the country,” followed his own advice in 1859 and made a trip to the wild and woolly west. He noted more than a few saloon patrons had “a careless way, when drunk, of firing revolvers, sometimes at each other, and other times quite miscellaneously.”
And when the editor and publisher of the Fort Worth Evening Mail, Moses C. Harris, printed unflattering stories concerning City Secretary Stuart Harrison in 1884, the latter had to be restrained from gunning down his journalistic nemesis after knocking back a few whiskies at the Opera Saloon.
That same year in the badlands of the Dakota Territory, eastern dandy turned cattle rancher, Theodore Roosevelt, was wary to enter the bar at the Nolan’s Hotel upon hearing several gunshots echoing from inside the tavern.
As T.R. later recalled, “A shabby individual in a broad hat with a cocked gun in each hand was walking up and down the floor talking with strident profanity. He had evidently been shooting at the clock, which had two or three holes in its face.”
Trouble began when the brute approached Roosevelt, called him “four eyes” and “using very foul language” demanded he buy everyone in the house a drink.
“As I rose, I struck quick and hard with my right just to one side of the point of his jaw, hitting with my left as I straightened out, and then again with my right. He fired his guns, but I do not know whether this was merely a convulsive action of his hands, or whether he was trying to shoot me.”
Thus man-handled, the profane gunman dropped to the floor unconscious. It seemed Roosevelt’s membership in the Harvard Boxing Club paid off. Even after becoming president of the United States, T.R. continued to dabble in the “sweet science.”
While we are on the subject of Republicans, journalists and fisticuffs in the wild, wild west, now U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte of the great state of Montana is at the center of controversy having “body slammed” the brittle, sickly and bespectacled reporter Ben Jacobs of the UK’s Manchester Guardian – The Guardian online. The incident occurred on the eve of a special election that ABC News described as “a key race for Congress.”
Why was this election considered “key”?
According to CNN, “Obamacare and the Republican attempt to repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature law have been front and center in the Montana special [election].”
Democrats and the mainstream media would have us believe the repeal of Obamacare is a political albatross around the neck of the Republican Party, threatening GOP control of Congress and relegating Donald Trump to a single term as president.
A few days ago, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) helped to whip up anti-repeal hysteria by projecting it will leave 23 million Americans without health care.
Getting back to the body-slam at the OK Corral, it was reporter Ben Jacobs’ questions to Rep. Gianforte concerning the dubious CBO report that spurred him to, well, cowboy up.
According to Fox News field producer Faith Mangan and photographer Keith Railey, “Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him to the ground behind him… then began punching the reporter… yelling something to the effect of, ‘I’m sick and tired of this!’” it was reported on the Fox News website.
In a recording made by the reporter, Jacobs is heard screeching, “You just body-slammed me and broke my glasses!”
Proclaimed the New York Times
“Heated anti-media language is a fixture of the Trump era, with journalists derided by the president as ‘the enemy of the American people’ and cast as villains in recent weeks by conservatives who say speculation about Russian ties to the White House is a news media-driven plot.”
In the end, Republican cowboy Greg Gianforte defeated Democratic challenger Rob Quist in a state dominated by the GOP, much like today’s Washington.
It’s unlikely Democrats and their toadies in the press have learned, “If you’re riding a high horse, there’s no way to get down gracefully.”