Politicians and the Press, Vol. 13, Issue 11

To get right to the point, all a politician needs to say to a reporter, when not wishing to respond directly to the reporter's questions, is "No comment." Only "no comment." No matter how tedious and repetitive it gets. One does not threaten a reporter with physical violence, as United States Representative Michael Grimm (R - NY) did following the State of the Union address. First of all, reporters may ask any questions they want about any subject. That's good journalism. While Rep. Grimm infers that he only agreed to be interviewed about the State of the Union speech, Etiquetteer thinks it rather disingenuous for anyone, much less a politician, to expect a member of the Fourth Estate not to ask questions about any burning and controversial topic - such as Rep. Grimm's fund-raising practices detailed in a Federal complaint. Frankly, he should have expected it. And while Etiquetteer can certainly understand why the Congressman would consider it an unwelcome question, that doesn't excuse violence or the threat of violence. Don't let it happen again.