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Grimm News

By       Message William Boardman     Permalink
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This was immediately after the State of the Union on January 28. Rep. Grimm had come up to the visitors gallery above the House floor to make a quick reaction comment to the President's speech to Capitol Hill reporter Michael Scotto, of NY1, a Warner cable news channel.  The reaction comment over, reporter Scotto tried to get more, saying, "And just finally before we let you go, because we have you here, we haven't had a chance to kind of talk about some of the..."

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Rep. Grimm interrupted: "I'm not speaking to you off-topic, this is only about the president." Then he turned and walked away, out of the picture, as the reporter asked, "But what about the --?" 

So the reporter had to close out the segment

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With Rep. Grimm gone, Scotto stepped into the empty frame and said: "All right. So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances, we wanted to get him on camera on that, but he, as you saw, he refused to talk about that. Back to you. " 

Then, with the intensity of the shark from "Jaws," Rep. Grimm sailed back into view, confronting the startled Scotto and backing the reporter across the screen and out of sight as the camera rolled. Scotto had explained to the Congressman that the spot would be shot in one take, to "air it as live." 

Ignoring the live camera, which showed only his back, Rep. Grimm ripped into Scotto with quiet intensity, first threatening to throw him off the balcony to the House floor. The exchange was brief, less than a minute and only partly comprehensible. It ended with something inaudible from Scotto that elicited  another threat by the Congressman: "No, no, you're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy."


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With that, Rep. Grimm left for good. Later that night he issued a self-exculpatory statement: 

"I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests. The reporter knew that I was in a hurry and was only there to comment on the State of the Union, but insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview, because I did not have time to speak off-topic. I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. 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."

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)

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