One day after a congressional candidate was charged with assault in a notorious incident in which he “body-slammed” a reporter, Frederick G. Smith, the VP and director of Sinclair Broadcasting Group, made a donation to the campaign of the candidate, Montana Republican Greg Gianforte, Politico reports.
“On May 24, Gianforte assaulted Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs as Jacobs attempted to ask Gianforte a question about the healthcare bill, breaking Jacobs’ glasses and sending him to the hospital for X-rays,” the story reports. “Though Gianforte’s campaign initially decried Jacobs as a ‘liberal’ reporter and placed some of the blame on him, Gianforte eventually apologized, pleaded guilty to the assault, and donated $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists as part of an agreement under which Jacobs did not pursue a civil case. Gianforte was sentenced to community service and anger management classes, while being assessed a $385 fine.”
Smith’s $1,000 donation came on May 25, the day after the incident and the day Gianforte was elected, the story reports, citing Federal Election Commission reports. Smith also gave $1,000 to Gianforte’s campaign in March.
“Gianforte’s campaign received a flood of new donations the day after the incident, raising about $118,000 on May 25, more than double the amount he raised the day before,” the report notes.