A modern political parable told in four parts

Fascinating story. This is how it begins.

The Republican candidate for Montana’s congressional seat slammed a Guardian reporter to the floor on the eve of the state’s special election, breaking his glasses and shouting, “Get the hell out of here.”

This is how it continues:

A statement by campaign spokesman Shane Scanlon blamed Jacobs for the altercation, saying that he “entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions”.

“Jacobs was asked to leave,” the statement reads. “After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground.

“It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.”

This is what happened next: Body-slamming a reporter just made Greg Gianforte a whole lot of money:

Montana Republican Greg Gianforte’s congressional campaign has raised $100,000 and counting in the hours since he allegedly “body-slammed” Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.

And this is how it ended:

Republican businessman Greg Gianforte won Montana’s sole House district in a special election Thursday, keeping a seat in Republican hands despite facing assault charges for allegedly attacking a reporter who’d asked him about the GOP’s health-care bill.In his victory speech, Gianforte admitted to the attack and apologized for it.“I shouldn’t have treated that reporter that way,” he told supporters at his rally here.

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