The now mundane technology of live TV caught a New York Congressman threatening to “break” a reporter from NY-1 News, in a video sure to go viral today. The troubled Congressman, Rep. Michael Grimm (R) of Staten Island, NY, also threatened to throw the reporter off the balcony of the United States Capitol.

This confrontation occurred shortly after President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech and was one of dozens of live interviews happening simultaneously, inside the Capitol rotunda, by various news outlets. The NY-1 reporter used the live TV opportunity to question Congressman Grimm about allegations of improper fundraising. Rep. Grimm’s office is under federal investigation into something called “donor swapping”.

After Rep. Grimm refused to answer the fundraising question, the reporter, Michael Scotto, reported, live, on-air:

“Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances … but as you saw he refused to talk about that,” Scotto said as Rep. Grimm began to walk away.

Congressman Grimm heard the on-air comment, but apparently forgot or didn’t care that the reporter was broadcasting live. Rep. Grimm quickly returned and on live TV stated:

“Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—–g balcony,” Grimm said, according to NY-1. The comments are difficult to hear, but the news channel claims the threat was very clear.

“Why, why, I just wanted to ask you?” Reporter Michael Scotto replied.

“If you ever do that to me again,” the Staten Island congressman replied angrily.

Next, Reporter Scotto replied, “Why, why it’s a valid question,” and Rep. Grimm said: “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy,” this, according to a transcript provided by NY1.

As we’ve mentioned before at Tech Explosion, technology gives us tools to do great things, as well as make complete fools of ourselves. This video will, for sure, go viral today and be a huge topic of conversation all across America. The instantaneous nature of incidents like these being spread to millions of people is something we, as a society, are still getting used to. Politics has always had elements of wrongdoing, threats and harsh language. Today, however, a threat like this, caught and broadcast on live TV, and then spread through social media, can be instantly career-ending.

Grimm Still 2

Just think, in 1804, former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton was shot and killed in a duel, by the sitting U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr! How’s that for political conflict? Just imagine, if that happened today, it would be caught on live TV and then spread like wildfire, creating the ultimate viral video.

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