Pierce uses the dishonest statement put out by the campaign of Republican hired goon Greg Gianforte to put his assault on Ben Jaobs in context:
I just adore that last part. I adore it even more than the fanciful notion that Ben Jacobs was using his iPhone of Doom to overpower poor Greg Gianforte. “Aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist.” This is an interpretation of events from a flack who is fully confident that his intended audience is made up of dupes and fools who’ve been marinating in the conservative media for decades and, therefore, will believe any goddamn thing they’re fed. Shane Scanlon, the flack in question, has a very bright future, I believe.
These attacks on individual reporters should be no surprise. In the wider political world, people like Shane Scanlon and Greg Gianforte operate secure in the knowledge of precisely who their audiences hate and why they hate them. They know that those audiences cheered when reporters covering the Ferguson protests got roughed up and busted by the cops, and when that guy got arrested in West Virginia for questioning HHS Secretary Tom Price, and when that reporter got put into a wall while asking questions at an FCC event, and, ultimately, when the 2016 Republican candidate for president spent a good portion of every campaign rally coming right up to the edge of setting a mob loose on the penned-up press at the back of the hall.
This must be a great comfort to Scanlon and Gianforte. They don’t have to care about representing anyone they don’t want to represent, or about the survival of democratic institutions, or even about the country in general. The Bubble has turned into the Octogon, and Greg Gianforte fancies himself its king.
Also related is the fact that Gianforte has mostly refused to hold public events throughout the campaign.
If you're wondering why all these stories are using same 3 photos of Gianforte it's b/c most campaign events were private/press not invited
— Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelen) May 25, 2017
And the fact that so many Republicans won’t hold town halls. A party that owes its control of the White House and Senate to anti-democratic mechanisms is trying to pass a plan that is astoundingly unpopular given the current polarization, a plan they relentlessly lied about during the campaign. Gianforte’s assault is just a more extreme manifestation of the fundamental contempt that the Trump/Ryan/McConnell Republican Party has for democratic values.