According to Time Warner Cable, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) called to apologize Wednesday (Jan. 29) following a dust-up with Michael Scotto, a reporter for TWC's NY1 regional cable news channel, following the President's State of the Union speech.
Scotto said he had not expected the apology and that Grimm conceded he had overreacted to a question about allegations of campaign finance impropriety. Scotto also said he accepted the apology and believed it to be sincere, though he also conceded it might be to stem the negative coverage his outburst created.
Scotto said there was no history between the two and there had never been any animosity toward NY1 that he knew of that would justify how aggressively he had been pursued by Grimm.
"I was wrong. I shouldn’t have allowed my emotions to get the better of me and lose my cool," said Grimm in a statement, according to NY1. "I have apologized to Michael Scotto, which he graciously accepted, and will be scheduling a lunch soon."
"Losing his cool" consisted of the legislator getting in Scotto's face, threatening to "throw him off this f-ing balcony," and to "break [him] in half like a boy."
Grimm had declined to talk about anything but the speech, and after he left camera, Scotto pointed out that he had planned to ask about the allegations. Grimm came back in frame and made the threats to an obviously dismayed Scotto.
Following the incident, NY1 political director Bob Hard, said it was "extremely disturbing when anyone threatens one of our reporters – let alone a U.S. Congressman. The NY1 family is certainly alarmed and disappointed by the behavior of Representative Grimm."
Hard demanded a full apology.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday he hoped House leadership would signal to Grimm that his conduct was "absolutely unacceptable."
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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