A lot of things have happened in that last year that would be deemed too unrealistic or on-the-nose if they had been written into some bleak and depressing movie, but very few of them come close to the story of Ben Jacobs, the Guardian reporter who was body-slammed by Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte in Montana on the day before a special election last week. In any other universe, that politician’s career would’ve disintegrated in a heartbeat, but in our terrible universe, he actually won the election and left Jacobs with nothing but a broken pair of glasses and a new understanding of just how much this country’s scummier politicians hate reporters these days.
Actually, that last bit is an important lesson to all of us, so to ensure that future generations have a chance to learn about the actual dangers that America’s free press faced in the Trump era, the Newseum in Washington D.C. has asked Jacobs to donate his broken glasses to its collection. Jacobs agreed, and according to a new Guardian article, he has already been fitted for a new pair of glasses—with the story specifically pointing out that “the cost will be covered by The Guardian and his company health insurance.”
Jacobs’ new pair hopefully won’t be smashed by another politician, but who knows how many other Republicans will suddenly decide that assaulting a reporter is a good way to boost their poll numbers.