After Montana's Greg Gianforte roughed up a reporter, the general sentiment was that he was way out of bounds. But another view cropped up, most noticeably on conservative media sites, along these lines: "What kind of a wuss files charges over broken glasses?" asked one tweet, and "What would most Montana men do if 'body slammed' for no reason by another man?” asked another. In the Washington Post, former bar bouncer Felix Biederman thinks these critics should stuff their tough talk. "Most people in this country cannot fight their way out of a wet paper bag and have no clue what they're talking about when they opine on it," he writes.
Biederman, a co-host of the podcast Chapo Trap House, isn't making the case that people should know how to fight better, he's simply pointing out that this kind of bluster usually comes from clueless people. Actual fights are exhausting, brutal affairs, win or lose, as opposed to the "choreographed" ones we see in film. "They're painful and bizarre and usually unexpected, and anybody who's ever genuinely thrown down could hardly blame" reporter Ben Jacobs for going to authorities instead of retaliating. "That Jacobs did so isn't everything wrong with America; that a bunch of middle-aged pundits logged onto Twitter to strut their toughness in 140 characters or less isn't either, but it's closer to the problem than Jacobs ever has been." Click for the full column. (Gianforte won the House election despite the controversy.)