Thursday, January 30, 2014

Not so fast Congressman Grimm ! — I don't think this is over yet


Maybe, we all need to look a little further into Congressman Mike Grimm’s inexplicable rage at cable newsman Michael Scotto

Is Michael Grimm’s  Rotundagate scandal just a 24-hour news cycle event with a few day hangover for talk show jokes and media cartoons ?  —   Or is it actually the tip of an iceberg that is evidence of a much bigger scandal ?



Yesterday, Congressman Michael Grimm’s threatening NY 1 reporter Michael Scotto was all the news across the nation.  Needless to say, even I made a big deal of it right here on The Brooklyn Independent GOP Fountainhead blog. After about a day, actually almost coinciding with the lapse of the 24-hour news cycle, the national story of Michael Grimm's raging at Michael Scotto in the Capitol rotunda morphed into a great big national joke.

An image of Grimm as a big green Incredible Hulk-like helpless giant standing amid a destroyed Capitol building with a small black-suited man broken in half at his feet was the political cartoon in the New York Daily News – with two balloons to the green Hulk containing the quotes, “GRIMM SORRY” and “GRIMM BUY EVERYBODY LUNCH” ( See “Rep. Grimm apologizes to NY1 reporter Michael Scotto, schedules ...” William Bramhall, 1/29/14, New York Daily News [https://www.google.com/search?q=Michael+Grimm+Daily+News+Cartoon&espv=210&es_sm=]).

Also by now, there are many reports of Jon Stewart’s use of the Grimm-Scotto material as part of his show last night ( See e.g. “Jon Stewart says Michael Grimm Was Giving the ‘Traditional Staten Island Goodbye’ ” by Colin Campbell, 1/30/14, NY Observer/ Politicker [http://politicker.com/2014/01/jon-stewart-says-michael-grimm-was-giving-the-traditional-staten-island-goodbye/]; with a link to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’s Grimm humor). Among several really good laugh lines about Staten Island and our beloved  NY1, Stewart put it all in context with this: “... the guy threatening to hurl a New York 1 reporter off a balcony is not a thug in a Batman film but someone we elected to Congress.”

However, maybe it’s a little early for Grimm’s threatening the newsman story to be reduced to cartoons and the jokes, because there is still a Paul Harvey-style “Rest of the Story” that might be coming.  —   Why, it might be here already !

One of Michael Grimm’s former political opponents, Democrat Mark Murphy, has told the political news web site Talking Points Memo that steroid use is to blame for a history of enraged outbursts by Grimm, and Tuesday night’s incident with Michael Scotto in the rotunda was only the latest example of it (See “Ex-Rival Blames Grimm's 'Thug' Outbursts On Steroids” by Hunter Walker, 1/29/14, Talking Points Memo/ Muckraker [http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/murphy-grimm-steroids]). According to Hunter Walker’s report on the TPM blog, “Mark Murphy, a Democrat who lost a House race against Grimm in 2012, spoke to TPM and said that while he has no direct evidence he believes that steroid use is responsible for multiple incidents where Grimm and a man he described as the congressman's "bodyguard" have lost their cool. *** ‘These guys are wrapped so tight from the steroids that they're on, it's insane,’ Murphy said.”  Murphy, is a real estate developer and the son of former Congressman John Murphy and took pains to reiterate, "I have no knowledge whether or not [Grimm and the bodyguard are] on steroids, but they just seem wound so tight it would seem that they are on something.”

The TPM post went on to say that they specifically sought a comment from Grimm and/or his staff, but that Grimm's office declined to comment, as follows: "Thank you for your solicitation for additional comment from Congressman Grimm. I am in receipt of your request," spokesman Nick Iacono wrote in an email to TPM. "The Congressman will not be giving any additional comments on this matter at this time."

In addition, both Murphy and TPM related much of their story to Marc Alvarez, reportedly a bodyguard to the congressman. TPM indicated that on Wednesday they attempted to call Marc Alvarez at his home, by calling a phone number believed to belong to him. A short time later, a man called back from that number and identified himself as Alvarez. His communication to TPM was terse, "Don't call my house again," he said before hanging up. After another attempted call by TPM, the same man said, “This is my house. You don't call my house. This is the second time. Call me again and I'm going to put in a harassment call. OK?"

Hunter Walker’s TPM article closed with this: “For his part, Murphy seemed convinced Tuesday's threats won’t be Grimm's last outburst. ‘He has a switch and that guy's going to snap. He really is,’ Murphy said."

The TPM post was picked up and echoed by other media outlets (See e.g. ““Michael Grimm Apologizes For Threats, But Are Steroids To Blame?” 1/29/14, Inquisitr [http://www.inquisitr.com/1113387/michael-grimm-apologizes-for-threats-but-are-steroids-to-blame/]; “The real problem with dangerous goon Michael Grimm –  We shouldn't let people like him have badges and guns” by Alex Pareene, 1/30/14, Salon [http://www.salon.com/2014/01/30/michael_grimm_bad_cop/]; and several others).

The Salon post by Alex Pareene, mentioned above, opened with this background material prior to relating the observations and opinions of Mark Murphy: “New York Rep. Michael Grimm is an unstable, possibly dangerous goon. That much was obvious in the video in which he corners and threatens NY1 reporter Michael Scotto. His act may not have surprised readers of the New Yorker’s 2011 profile of Grimm, which describes the 1999 night that Grimm, brandishing a gun, terrorized a nightclub full of people in search of a man with whom he’d fought earlier. Grimm’s propensity for abusive language and ridiculous macho posturing was also well-known to New York and Washington reporters. ***  Grimm’s actions that night at the Caribbean Tropics nightclub in Queens would have likely put a regular citizen in jail for years. But Grimm was not a regular citizen: He was an FBI agent at the time, and thus, after an internal investigation, he received no punishment at all. (The NYPD has declined repeated requests to release public records related to the incident.)”

Obviously, all these articles are not dispositive of any of the issues raised therein. I would expect these matters to be revisited as more facts emerge about the congressman and any of those around him who might become involved in due course.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Following quickly on the initial news reports of Congressman Grimm's threatening behavior following the State of the Union speech by the President, the TPM calls went off like a bomb among Grimm's staff. Some quick cell phone calls and texts were made to close associates who work for State Senator Martin Golden.

At least one longtime player and senior staff member in Brooklyn believes that Grimm has a real problem, and the Scotto incident is either "the last straw" or so close to it, almost anything else will cause it all reach the tipping point..

Galewyn Massey said...

BACKFILL: THE “COMPENDIUM OF OUTBURSTS” EDITION

THE NEW YORK TIMES AND POLITICKER NY TAKE NOTE OF CONGRESSMAN GRIMM’S “LARGER PATTERN OF ERUPTIONS”

According to the Politicker “Morning Read” early this morning, “Congressman Michael Grimm‘s Tuesday night threats against NY1 reporter Michael Scotto continued to dominate the news, with multiple outlets providing their own anecdotes to demonstrate a larger pattern of eruptions. As the New York Times reported, the blow-up “prompted revelations of other situations involving him that showed a hair-trigger temper” from other reporters and colleagues. “Incidents involving a butter knife, for instance, and a gun in a Queens club.” ( See “SUGGESTED READING – Morning Read: ‘A Larger Teachable Moment’” by Jill Colvin, 1/30/14, NY Observer/ Politicker [http://politicker.com/2014/01/morning-read-a-larger-teachable-moment/]).

The Politicker linked to a NY Times article by N. R. Kleinfieldjan that opened with this: “Representative Michael G. Grimm is a hothead. *** That, at least, is what some politicians and journalists who have tangled with the Staten Island lawmaker have maintained for years. The criticism, however, never made much of a dent. *** After all, Mr. Grimm, 43, the only New York City congressman who is a Republican, was a fringe character in Washington. Plus, many of the illustrations were of the “he said, she said” strain. *** But Mr. Grimm’s latest eruption was recorded in living color for all to watch....” What followed was an in depth discussion of the incident with NY 1 reporter Michael Scotto >>>> including Guy Molinari’s excuse that Congressman Grimm’s bad behavior was due to a lack of sleep. <<<< More important, Timesman Kleinfieldjan did a detailed rundown of many of Congressman Grimm’s prior temper tantrums, blow-ups and other overly aggressive behaviors ( See “Threat by Staten Island Lawmaker Adds to a Reputation as Hot-Tempered” by N. R. Kleinfieldjan, 1/29/14, NY Times [http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/30/nyregion/threat-by-staten-island-lawmaker-adds-to-his-reputation-as-hot-tempered.html?ref=nyregion&_r=0]).

Galewyn Massey said...

UPDATE: THE “LET’S MAKE A FEDERAL CASE OUT OF IT” EDITION

US ATTORNEY’S OFFICE FOR DC LOOKING INTO CONGRESSMAN GRIMM’S THREAT TO DO BODILY HARM MADE ON GOVERNMENT PROPERTY

Tom Wrobleski in the Advance is reporting that Representative Michael Grimm could face a possible criminal charge for his confrontation with NY1 reporter Michael Scotto, according to coverage of a story that originated with Fox News (See ““Report: D.C. officials discussing possible criminal charge against Staten Island's Grimm in confrontation with reporter” by Tom Wrobleski. 1/30/14, SI Advance/ silive.com
[http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/01/report_officials_discussing_po.html]). The report indicates that the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of the Columbia is conferring on the matter with law enforcement, a discussion fueled in part by the fact that the incident occurred on federal property. The D.C. statute in question pertains to "threatening to do bodily harm."

The U.S. Attorney's Office would not confirm the conversations and had no comment as of Thursday morning; and Grimm's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, Fox News indicated that a congressional source stated that it doesn't necessarily matter whether a person who had been threatened chooses to press charges in deciding whether to proceed with an investigation into possible crimes or other violations.

Anonymous said...

NY1 should have sat on that tape and made the accusation first. I know michael Grimm and Marc Avarez. They are the kind of guys that would have denied the incident ever took place. After a few weeks NY1 could have showed the proof and Grimm would be. a goner.

The dems should pull an "O'Keefe" on this pair of punks.

Btw, I wonder how old "roid rage" Grimm will react when Golden's top guy, Ray Riley works behind the scenes to get Dominic Recchia elected to congress with Golden's blessing.

Don't forget Golden and Recchia are longtime friends and have both benefitted from many backroom deals the two have been a party to. And of course, Ray Riley was the guy that accused Michael Grimm of wearing fake ribbons on his Marine dress uniform during the Allegretti primary.

After that debacle Golden hired Riley. You better believe they are both Recchia fans in 14.

Galewyn Massey said...

The other option is something like this: a) all the GOP "Leaders," who don't want Grimm, need to get a good candidate to challenge Grimm in the primary; b) win the primary against Grimm; and c) move against Recchia in the fall.

I think that Nicole Malliotakis is a fresh face that people like, and she has a big upside. She is ready to move on up and try to see if she can do her thing on a bigger stage.

FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD !

Anonymous said...

There are lots more times that Grimm has yelled at news reporters, pushed back forcefully on irate constituents or threatened people than this. Sometimes it's only bad manners like when he's only rudely dismissive, other times he's more aggressive and threatening.

Marin Cogan a reporter at the National Journal tells a story about Grimm when she was at Politico.

Anonymous said...

Congrarulations Grimm. You just gave Golden the cover he needs to start the "Vote for Domenic" whisper campaign that he has been acheing to do.

Anonymous said...

Clorinda "What does the fox say?" knows a little about who made what calls and probably reported back to SI about it. But since everybody knows about her "loyalties" nobody did much talking around her.

And it goes much deeper and higher on Golden's staff than Ray RIley who another ANonymous mentioned down below.

Anonymous said...

Ray Riley And Georgea Have Already Met With Recchia. I Would Not Want To Be Marty Golden The Next Time He Sees Grimm.

Anonymous said...

They both have more than 7 bullets in their guns so it should be fine. Although Grimm does have that goon Alvarez also packing...

Anonymous said...

Golden already made his deal with Recchia before this. Think about it. Is Golden worried about the Staten Island voters?

Galewyn Massey said...

"Deals ? They don't need no stinkin' deals...."

Everybody knows what they have to do without any deals.... Deals only need to happen if there is need for heavy lifting; and nobody intends to do any heavy lifting outside their own parties.

Are there any NYS Senators anywhere in Grimm's district that will do much for Grimm ? Why does anybody think that Obi Wan O'Brien-Murray felt free to make his negative sounding comments about Grimm and his most recent problem(s) ?

Galewyn Massey said...

UPDATE: THE “‘ENOUGH SAID’ ABOUT PROSECUTIONS AND ENDORSEMENTS” EDITION

(See “Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm sits for Conservative Party interview; Capitol Police say he will not be charged in confrontation with reporter” by Tom Wrobleski, 1/31/14, SI Advance/ silive.com [http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/01/staten_island_rep_michael_grim_20.html]).

Galewyn Massey said...

BEST QUOTE: “...YOU CAN’T SPELL ‘BALCONY’ WITHOUT BALCO...”

(See “Geez, guys. Isn't this OBVIOUS? I mean, you can't spell "balcony" without BALCO, right?” — Comment by RAGGEDT to TPM post of 1/29/14, “Ex-Rival Blames Grimm's 'Thug' Outbursts On Steroids” [http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/murphy-grimm-steroids])

Galewyn Massey said...

BACKFILL: THE “YOU CAN SEE THE WRITING ON THE WALL” EDITION

EVEN WITHOUT THE TPM POST ABOUT MURPHY’S CLAIM OF POSSIBLE STEROID USE BY CONGRESSMAN GRIMM, HIS STAFF MEMBERS KNEW THAT EVERYBODY COULD SEE REPEATED MENTIONS THAT “GRIMM IS AN AVID WEIGHT LIFTER”
IN THE GENERAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION OF REPORTS ABOUT GRIMM’S RAGE-THREAT TO SCOTTO

The focus here is on the repeated description of Congressman Michael Grimm as an “avid weight lifter” which was originally used by the NY Times in March of 2012 (See “Rising G.O.P. Star From Staten Island Draws on Political Gifts to Fend Off Critics” by Anne Bernard, 3/8/12, NY Times
[http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/nyregion/michael-grimm-gop-congressman-fights-critics.html?_r=0]), but “avid weight lifter” has been reiterated both in the Times and other media outlets many times since (See e.g. “After ‘I’ll Break You in Half,’ Grimm Apologizes” by Sarah Wheaton & Marc Santora, 1/29/14, NY Times [http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/30/nyregion/rep-michael-grimm-threat-ny1-reporter.html]); and “Michael Grimm’s bullying sickness: Who’s the real “thug” here?” by Joan Walsh, 1/29/14, Salon [http://www.salon.com/2014/01/29/michael_grimm%E2%80%99s_bullying_sickness_whos_the_real_thug_here/]). As part of its report on Congressman Grimm’s rant against the NY1 reporter, even The Christian Science Monitor noted that “...Grimm is an avid weight lifter known to the New York tabloids as “Mikey Suits.” He’s threatened other NY1 journalists in the past, according to NY1 political director Bob Hardt....” (See “Rep. Michael Grimm rips reporter. Why so angry? (+video)” by Peter Grier, 1/29/14, CS Monitor/ Decoder [http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/Decoder-Wire/2014/0129/Rep.-Michael-Grimm-rips-reporter.-Why-so-angry-video]). A quick Google search shows that the description “avid weight lifter” was use by many other papers and blogs than those mentioned above.

TWO YEARS AGO GRIMM SAID HE DID CARDIO- AND WEIGHTS AT A GYM — BUT HE WANTED TO FIND A “BOXING GYM” — TO HIT THE BAG AND RELIEVE HIS STRESS

Other possibly interesting info — (See “SUNDAY ROUTINE | MICHAEL G. GRIMM – Recharging Body and Soul” by John Leland, 1/6/12, NY Times [http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/nyregion/rep-michael-grimm-recharges-body-and-soul-on-sundays.html?_r=1&]). Of particular interest is the following: “...TREADMILL, WEIGHTS I go to work out at LA Fitness by about 2:30 or 3. I’ll do some cardio, like a three-mile run on the treadmill. Then I’ll hit the weights. I’m just starting to jump rope again, looking for a boxing gym. Hitting the bag is a great stress reliever, and Washington can be very stressful, especially now. I haven’t imagined my political opponents in the ring, but there’s enough stress to keep me motivated to hit that bag....”

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that "avid weight lifter" is code for any other behavior or that because Congressman Grimm might sometimes lift weights it means something else.

Anonymous said...

Marc Alvarez was mentioned along with his boss Grimm by SI Democrat Mark Murphy., is Alvarez an avid weight lifter too, that would make two avid weight lifters who hang out together., if ALvarez is.

Anonymous said...

Is balcony somebody's code for BALCO NEW YORK

Galewyn Massey said...

BACKFILL: THE “DON’T MISS THIS” EDITION

CATCHING UP ON SOME OF THE GRIMM-SCOTTO COVERAGE — NEW YORK MAGAZINE COVERAGE IS PARTLY DRIVE-BY JOURNALISM AND PARTLY A REPRISE OF SOME OF MIKE GRIMM’S MOST INTERESTING MOMENTS BEING BAD IN PUBLIC

Joe Coscarelli’s article/post for New York Magazine is like a mixed-tape of some of Congressman Michael Grimm’s greatest meltdown hits. It starts like this “Confirming the worst stereotypes about Staten Island, home of Mob Wives, fifth borough Representative Michael Grimm introduced himself to the nation last night, following President Obama’s State of the Union address, in the worst way possible. During an on-camera interview with NY1’s Michael Scotto, Grimm stormed off when asked about the ongoing federal investigation of his campaign finances, only to return and tell Scotto, still on-camera, ‘You’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy,’ among other Staten Island–y things. The congressman, in a defensive statement last night, then refused to apologize. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Michael Grimm....” It goes on from that with several key anecdotes from past blow-ups by the Brooklyn and Staten Island Republican; along with an important link to the NY Post that referenced some remarks by somebody identified only as a “former Grimm staffer” (See “A Few Things to Know About Angry Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm” by Joe Coscarelli, 1/29/2014, New York Magazine [http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/01/michael-grimm-history-losing-temper.html]; with a link to “Congressman Grimm loses it on reporter” by S.A. Miller and Carl Campanile,1/28/14, NY Post/ Metro [http://nypost.com/2014/01/28/grimm-threatens-reporter-who-questioned-campaign-finances/]).

Oddly, Coscarelli’s article is quiet about Grimm’s balcony remarks – that’s sort of like doing a mixed tape of anybody’s favorite group and leaving out their biggest hit – or doing a whole XXX reel without a money shot.... (Right, I don’t know what that means, either [wink - -nod].... this IS a Republican blog, after all).

foggy said...

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