Given the important policies they oversee and the highly public nature of their work, it is to be expected that our government officials will at times come into conflict with the press, especially amid the tense political circumstances in which we now find ourselves. And it is not unusual for these tensions to reach an explosive flash point, as they did last night in Montana when Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte attacked a reporter from The Guardian for asking what was a shamefully antagonistic and prying question regarding the Republicans’ proposed healthcare bill.
In light of these events, our editorial board would like to state our unwavering support of Mr. Gianforte and invite him to physically assault every member of The Onion’s news staff.
It has always been the belief of this storied publication that elected officials and the press have important roles to play in our democracy: namely, that the former sets the policies that guide our nation, and the latter subserviently provides a mouthpiece to trumpet the will and intentions of the ruling class without question and without complaint. We here at The Onion are fully aware that our own reporters, like all members of the power-mad, out-of-control media, frequently overstep these sacred boundaries by scrutinizing the decisions and actions that those in mighty seats of authority, such as Mr. Gianforte, do not wish to discuss. And in such instances, it is important—imperative, even—that those who hold the reins of power put us in our place and punish us, preferably with considerable physical force, so that we never again commit such improper transgressions.
If any of our journalists have ever made Mr. Gianforte feel threatened in any way at all, whether by holding a recorder too close to his face, writing a story that did not paint him in a positive light, or disrespectfully seeking clarification on a point he or his party might have made, we encourage him to use his fists, knees, elbows, or a blunt object of his choice to make it known through repeated physical blows how we have upset him.
To demonstrate our publication’s commitment to the solemn mission of maintaining the press’s proper subservience to the privileged and powerful, we invite—indeed, we encourage—Mr. Gianforte to visit The Onion’s headquarters at his convenience. Upon entering our offices, he will promptly be directed to the rows of desks where our editorial staff produce their reportage so that he may assault each and every one of us for as long as he deems necessary.
Furthermore, The Onion would like to make it clear to Mr. Gianforte—as well as all other politicians who serve at all levels of government—that if at any time in the future you are ever asked a question by a member of our staff that you find unfair, intrusive, disparaging, or that simply makes you feel uncomfortable, please immediately channel all of your strength into shoving this individual out of your presence, preferably knocking them to the ground or against the wall, so that they may understand their error. And if one of our reporters ever attempts to record an interaction that you do not wish to have documented, The Onion kindly suggests that you grab the camera or tape recorder from the journalist’s hands and throw it back into their chest or against a nearby wall as vigorously as you are capable of.
To further clarify just how he may treat our journalists, we ask that Mr. Gianforte refer to the following list of attacks that we have approved for his use, either individually or in combination, against any member of The Onion staff:
Punch to face
Punch to abdomen
Punch to back of head
Throw to ground
Hit with heavy object
Grab by hair and smash face into tabletop
While not a physically injurious attack, it should be noted that Mr. Gianforte is additionally allowed to spit on us.
The Onion believes strongly in the deferential role that the press must play in American democracy, and last night’s event in Montana was just the latest positive episode in the elegant dance between journalism and power that has gone on since this country’s founding. Without the vigilance and threats of physical violence from brave men and women like Mr. Gianforte, the press would surely become too brazen and powerful.
Mr. Gianforte, we hope that you accept our apology on behalf of the disgusting, disrespectful Guardian journalist who asked you that reprehensible question yesterday, and please know that we have readied a selection of heavy wooden bats for your use here in our offices and we eagerly await your reply.