"Everyone knows at these type of scrum events, there is some jostling around and some pushing," Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said on CNN on Tuesday afternoon.
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter, a vocal Trump backer, also mocked Fields with a reference to the anatomical dolls sometimes used by psychologists to coax accounts of violence out of traumatized victims.
This seems like a good time to point out that the legal definition of "battery" is "a physical act that results in harmful or offensive contact with another's person without that person's consent." Fields need not have been beaten to a pulp to to be a victim of battery.
Semantics aside, there is the more important issue of the "toughen up" argument. First, it is true that a little inadvertent "jostling," as Pierson put it, can be expected when reporters swarm around a candidate, each trying to get a microphone or recorder in range, or a camera lined up for a clear shot. A "scrum" mostly involves journalists bumping lightly into other journalists. But it is absolutely untrue that a reporter can expect to be singled out, grabbed and forcibly removed from his or her position by a campaign aide. That is not an occupational hazard political reporters do — or should — accept. The former is accidental and lacks malice; the latter is intentional and can lead to criminal charges, as we've seen.
Second, Morgan's suggestion that no man would press charges is a) not necessarily true and b) completely beside the point. Suppose that in Fields's place there had been a seasoned (that's a euphemism for elderly) male reporter with poor balance who fell down after Lewandowski's contact. What then? Fields, 28, wrote on March 10 that "I almost fell to the ground but was able to maintain my balance." Let's not assume that every man on the trail would have withstood Lewandowski's grab better than this young woman.
The implication, whether Morgan means it or not, seems to be that the "fairer sex" really doesn't belong in the rough-and-tumble world of campaign reporting — that there are physical demands women like Fields just can't handle or are perhaps exploiting. What a load of crap.
It doesn't matter that some male reporters might have been harder for Lewandowski to move out of the way or that some might not have filed a complaint. Regardless of the victim's response, Lewandowski's action was wrong -- and that's to say nothing of his repeated lies about it afterward. That is the point.
But if we're going to talk about toughness, I just have to say: Fields's willingness to speak up, press charges, quit her job — and do it all in the face of demeaning public treatment — is pretty tough.