The most exciting part of last night’s State of the Union broadcast came after the speech itself, on NY1. During a post-SOTU interview, reporter Michael Scotto asked Staten Island Republican Rep. Michael Grimm a question regarding his campaign finances, which are currently under federal investigation. Grimm didn’t like that, and stormed off. The action started when he returned moments later.
“Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this fucking balcony,” Grimm can be heard saying to Scotto in the clip above, taken from the live broadcast. When Scotto responds, he continues: “No, no, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half like a boy.”
Add this to the top of a growing list of Grimm’s indiscretions. In addition to the question of campaign finances, he’s also withdrawn his support for a 9/11 first responders healthcare bill over a petty slight, lied about a break-in at his office to make it seem politically motivated, and may have ties to organized crime. At this point, it feels like the punchline to a terrible joke that this guy is still holding public office.
In a statement given after the interview, Grimm said the outburst happened because he expects “a certain level of professionalism and respect.” The irony was apparently lost on him.
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.