The Slatest

Today in Conservative Media: Yeah, Gianforte Assaulted a Reporter, but Rob Quist Has Herpes

Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte looks on during a campaign meet and greet at Lions Park on May 23, 2017 in Great Falls, Montana.

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A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

On his show Thursday, Rush Limbaugh delved into Republican House candidate Greg Gianforte’s assault on Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, which occurred in Montana on Wednesday night:

[L]adies and gentlemen, I must do something. I must join the chorus of people condemning what happened out there. This manly, obviously studly Republican candidate in Montana took the occasion to beat up a pajama-clad journalist, a Pajama Boy journalist out there.

The story is he grabbed his neck and threw the guy to the ground because the journalist was being insolent and disrespectful and whiny and moany and accusatory. And the manly, studly Republican simply didn’t realize that on the big stage you can’t do this kind of stuff and kicked the guy’s ass to the ground. This cannot be accepted. This must be condemned. I wonder how many people in Montana are now gonna vote for the guy, though?

Limbaugh later brought up a story published last week by PJ Media titled “Mont. Dem. Rob Quist Silent on Genital Herpes in Tax Evasion Case,” about a 1994 medical malpractice suit filed by Quist over a gallbladder operation. “When people look into it, they find that he is a typical leftist,” Limbaugh said. “He’s whiny, he likes to sue everybody, and he’s got herpes.”

At RedState, Jay Caruso condemned the defenses of Gianforte’s behavior from conservatives like Laura Ingraham and Brent Bozell. “What happened here is another example of tribal politics getting in the way of reason,” he wrote. “There is never an excuse for a politician to assault a reporter for asking questions.” RedState’s J. Cal Davenport attributed the incident to a “lack of seriousness” in the Republican Party and contemporary politics writ large. “Liberals punch people and set fire to tires in order not to provide a platform to views they don’t like too, so violence as a solution to ideological challenges is largely the order of the day in American politics,” he wrote. “Without a doubt, it is a pervasive problem across the spectrum.”

In other news:

Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review wrote a piece on the false populism of the Trump presidency thus far:

The major legislation on the agenda so far — the health-care and tax bills — is shaping up about how you’d expect in any Republican administration. Action on trade has been underwhelming. Trump pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but Ted Cruz, too, said he opposed the deal. (So did Hillary Clinton, for that matter.) Measures being taken against imports of Canadian timber and Chinese steel, both longtime sore spots, are well within the bounds of the policy of past administrations. Trump puts more emphasis on immigration enforcement than his primary-campaign rivals would, but the three positions that made him so distinctive on immigration — the Wall, a Muslim ban, and mass deportation — are proving more difficult to implement than he thought or were left along the wayside during the general election.

In short, the Trump administration hasn’t created a new populist departure in American politics; it hasn’t even — as some of us hoped — nudged Republican policymaking in a more populist direction to better account for the interests of working-class voters. The early months of the Trump administration have proven to be populism’s false start.

And at Breitbart, Ben Kew sounded the alarm about advertisers ditching Sean Hannity following pressure from the “activist left.” “Companies including, Peloton, and Leesa Sleep have all given in to pressure to cease advertising on the show over Hannity’s pursuit of now retracted claims made by Fox News that murdered DNC employee Seth Rich had contact with Wikileaks before his death,” he wrote. The piece quotes tweets from Hannity yesterday alleging that George Soros and others were behind attempts to silence him. On Twitter, Hannity reassured viewers that his upcoming absence from the show is a planned holiday: