Chris Cillizza
Reporter January 31

If you feel compelled to threaten to throw a reporter off a balcony, it’s best to do so off-camera.

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) must have missed that part of “How to Act Like a Member of Congress” class, because after President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, he was caught threatening a New York TV reporter for — brace yourself — asking a question. A question, specifically, about an ongoing Justice Department investigation into whether Grimm’s campaign solicited and accepted donations from foreign nationals.

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House. View Archive

Rather than answer the question, Grimm stalked away from NY1’s Michael Scotto. Not great, but no real damage done, right? But Grimm returned seconds later — with the camera still rolling— and said he would “throw [Scotto] off this f---ing balcony,” adding, for good measure: “You’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”

Grimm, amazingly, wasn’t done. He issued a statement soon after the incident describing how he was “extremely annoyed” at Scotto for asking “off-topic” questions and noting: “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.”

Twelve hours later, Grimm had moved from defiant to deferential. He called Scotto to apologize and offered to take him to lunch. Scotto accepted. Done and done. Except that lots (and lots) more people know that Grimm is under federal investigation today than did a week ago.

Michael Grimm, for forgetting that the camera is always watching, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

Have a candidate for the Worst Week in Washington? E-mail Chris Cillizza at chris.cillizza@washpost.com.

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Rep. Michael Grimm's threat to throw a reporter over a balcony puts him in the ranks of other politicians who have lost their cool with journalists. (Jeff Simon/The Washington Post)