Hypocrite Rubin Loses It Over Montana Incident, Blames Trump; ‘The Fish Rots from the Head’

On Wednesday night, Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte allegedly body slammed The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs the night before the state’s special election. Jacobs went to a hospital to be checked out and had his glasses smashed, so what’s known about the incident isn’t pretty to say the least.

Importantly, any assault of anyone (reporter or non-reporter) isn’t okay. This should be common sense. That being said, the deranged reactions to the incident must be denounced too, most notably Washington Post supposedly right-leaning blogger Jennifer Rubin’s tirade on MSNBC’s All In.

Rubin told host Chris Hayes that it’s “absolutely stunning” what occurred and simply stated, “what is wrong with this man?” That reaction was perfectly valid, but what came after was textbook hypocrisy (more on that in a moment).

As others would similarly pontificate on MSNBC and elsewhere, Rubin claimed that attacking the media has finally boiled over and hinted was no longer acceptable as it’s led to dangerous consequences:

I mean, this is really sort of appalling and I do want to say that there is a cost to continually berating the media. There is a cost to labeling these people, my — myself included, enemies, the opposition, continuing to berate them, calling on crowds to hoot and holler at them. You create an atmosphere in which these people are not treated like human beings and although I'm sure the President did not intend for this particular candidate to do this, that is the end effect when you begin behaving that way. 

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“The fish rots from the head. The tone of the politics of the country is set by the President the United States,” Rubin concluded.

So, Jennifer, let’s talk about your fish analogy. If you don’t want to blame the President for all this, here’s two examples of things you’ve said that haven’t exactly been helpful to creating a healthy discourse. On December 11, 2016, you referred to people selected for Trump’s cabinet as not just “billionaires” and “generals” but “ignoramuses” as well. How classy!

On March 9, you insinuated the President should be blamed for future U.S. terror attacks if his budget shrinks the size of the federal government. How responsible!

To broaden it out to The Washington Post, their cartoonist depicted Ted Cruz’s daughters in December 2015 as toy monkeys with Cruz holding an organ grinder.

If “[t]he fish rots from the head,” how’s Donald Trump the sole person responsible, Jennifer?

The crazy wasn’t finished there. Later, liberal author Tom Ricks compared this behavior to that of the 1930s and describing Trump as un-American: 

Watching this, listening to the tape, brings me back a lot to the 1930s, the use of political violence to subdue people and the vocabulary word I think for today is un-American. It is un-American for a political candidate to knock down a reporter asking an uncomfortable question. It's also un-American for a president to go overseas and cozy up to autocrats. It’s un-American to have a President who doesn’t seem to understand the U.S. Constitution. So, I want all to think about what being an American is? What is American activity and what's un-American? It's un-American, also, to take money from foreign governments. 

Former Obama official Evelyn Farkas agreed, complaining about the public not trusting the media anymore (as if they’re entirely blameless):

Yeah, again, we have a real problem here with credibility and with people using and abusing the press. I think The Guardian reporter obviously had every right to ask his question and not get beat up. We should — we really need leadership providing good examples and I think that gets to what was being said earlier because clearly, the President has not shown a good example to the people down the ticket.

It’s fair to say liberals visiting this page may misconstrue what was just written, but here it is again: assaulting reporters is not okay. If what’s alleged turns out to be true, Gianforte lost his cool and there’s no excuse for what happened. Period. The end. Full stop. 

However, solely blaming one flawed human being’s actions on someone else (President Trump) is a bridge too far. Further, the instant drive to connect everything to the President is tiresome. 

Same goes for suggesting that the media bias movement was to blame here. The crusade against liberal media bias has been going on for decades. Heck, the Media Research Center is marking its 30th anniversary in 2017.

So, this idea that, suddenly, criticism of the media has become anti-American, uncalled for, or violent is exactly what the left wants people to believe. Turns out, one can be against assaulting reporters and for fighting liberal media bias. Who would have thought!

Here’s the relevant portions fo the transcript from MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes on May 24:

MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes
May 24, 2017
8:26 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS HAYES:  Jennifer, have you ever heard of such a thing in your time in politics? 

JENNIFER RUBIN: This is absolutely stunning. First of all, that he would be threatened apparently by a meek question you heard on the audio, a very politely posed question and there are all ways of manner in which candidates say I don't want to talk to you or go, as he initially did, go talk to my communications guy or scram, but to physically accost someone, throw them down on the floor, potentially injure them — what is wrong with this man? I mean, this is really sort of appalling and I do want to say that there is a cost to continually berating the media. There is a cost to labeling these people, my — myself included, enemies, the opposition, continuing to berate them, calling on crowds to hoot and holler at them. You create an atmosphere in which these people are not treated like human beings and although I'm sure the President did not intend for this particular candidate to do this, that is the end effect when you begin behaving that way. The fish rots from the head. The tone of the politics of the country is set by the President the United States. 

(....)

8:56 p.m. Eastern

TOM RICKS: Watching this, listening to the tape, brings me back a lot to the 1930s, the use of political violence to subdue people and the vocabulary word I think for today is un-American. It is un-American for a political candidate to knock down a reporter asking an uncomfortable question. It's also un-American for a president to go overseas and cozy up to autocrats. It’s un-American to have a President who doesn’t seem to understand the U.S. Constitution. So, I want all to think about what being an American is? What is American activity and what's un-American? It's un-American, also, to take money from foreign governments. 

HAYES: Evelyn, you know, to Tom's point about, you know, going overseas there were reporters, Israeli and Jewish reporters kept out of some of the Saudi events, there was frustration with that. This is a President who has repeatedly praised folks like Erdogan who has some of the most hard crackdowns on the press anywhere in the world at the moment. 

EVELYN FARKAS: Right, right. Well, it's disturbing to see this happen in America. I want to add something about Gianforte because he apparently has about a quarter million dollars in index funds heavily invested in kremlin-owned Russian companies sanctioned by the U.S. Government and apparently in 2014 when he could have and should have divested, he doubled down. We need to look at those who want to represent Montana and their state, but yet, are doing things investing — they’re putting their money in areas that are counter to U.S. interests cause the Russian government is certainly using the results, the returns from those investments, to fuel their military inventourism in Ukraine and elsewhere. 

HAYES: We should note The Guardian actually wrote that story, which was maybe what he was referring to in his anger. You're a veteran reporter and you've covered so much. I wonder if there's a sense the relationship with the press and politicians is always contentious, but I lose perspective. From your perspective, is it particularly toxic right now? 

HICKS: It is. There are limits to behavior and as one Supreme Court justice famously said, you're right to wave your arms around at the beginning of my nose. What we're seeing those limits are changing now. We're in a time of sort of political disequilibrium not unlike the 1930s.

(....)

HAYES: Evelyn, it's striking to me that the campaign essentially doubles down in the sense who are you going to believe. This liberal reporter or us?

FARKAS: Yeah, again, we have a real problem here with credibility and with people using and abusing the press. I think The Guardian reporter obviously had every right to ask his question and not get beat up. We should — we really need leadership providing good examples and I think that gets to what was being said earlier because clearly, the President has not shown a good example to the people down the ticket. 


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