Breakfast Briefing, 5.25.2017: Election eve shock in Montana; Advertisers distance themselves from Hannity

News for PR pros to know on Thursday morning: A Republican candidate in Montana allegedly "body-slammed" a reporter covering the special election there; Marketers are stepping away from Fox News' Hannity; and journalists are taking Sean Spicer's side for once.

Republican candidate Greg Gianforte has been accused of assaulting a Guardian reporter. (Image via Gianforte's Facebook page).
Republican candidate Greg Gianforte has been accused of assaulting a Guardian reporter. (Image via Gianforte's Facebook page).

Election eve bodyslam throws Montana special election into turmoil
A shocking story from Montana’s special congressional election: Republican candidate Greg Gianforte allegedly "body-slammed" Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs Wednesday evening as Jacobs asked him about healthcare reform before a last-minute rally. A Fox News crew witnessed the incident and backed up Jacobs’ account. Gianforte, who left the scene, was eventually charged with misdemeanor assault. Three of Montana’s biggest newspapers immediately pulled their support for Gianforte, who was expected to win the closely watched Thursday special election. Here are five things to watch as voters go to the polls in what is being called an early red-state referendum on the Trump term, via Politico.


CBO score creates new narrative for healthcare bill
Deficit hawks will love the American Health Care Act; those who believe in expanding medical coverage to more Americans will not. That’s the narrative members of Congress are facing as they prepare to head home to face constituents this summer after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office scored the bill on Wednesday. The Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill would reduce the deficit by $119 billion over a decade but leave 23 million more people uninsured by 2026 than under the Affordable Care Act, according to the report. The bill is headed to the Senate, where it is expected to get a major facelift.

Advertisers distance themselves from Hannity
Another month, another advertiser boycott of a Fox News Channel star. This time, marketers are pulling their ads from Hannity after its host continued to plug the Seth Rich conspiracy theory this week. Cars.com, Peloton, and other brands confirmed to BuzzFeed that they’ve stepped away from the show after host Sean Hannity aired more reports on the unfounded theory that Rich was murdered in Washington, DC, last July as political revenge. Last month, advertisers left The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News after several allegations of sexual harassment and improper behavior by the host became public.

No questions abut Dao incident at United investor day
Investors in United Airlines don't seem too concerned about the airline’s treatment of Dr. David Dao, the passenger violently pulled from a flight last month. Shareholders didn’t ask a single question about the incident at United’s annual meeting on Wednesday, according to the Chicago Tribune. United CEO Oscar Munoz mentioned Dao’s removal several times and said the airline will "redouble our efforts to be more customer-focused in everything we do," according to the Associated Press.

Journalists stick up for (you’re reading this right) Sean Spicer
Are reporters finally warming to, or at least feeling bad for, daily sparring partner Sean Spicer? That’s The Washington Post’s theory after Spicer, a Catholic, was left out of Wednesday’s presidential audience with Pope Francis. (Less visible communications aides Hope Hicks and Dan Scavino got to meet the pontiff). Several reporters stuck up for Spicer, who could soon be on the losing end of a West Wing shakeup, according to several reports, on social media after the snub at the Vatican. 

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