Saturday evening, "Young Turks" reporter Michael Tracey tweeted that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) "shoved" him after a testy exchange in Los Angeles.
Here's my brief comment on Maxine Waters. Members of Congress shouldn't be initiating unwarranted physical contact… https://t.co/vOetzvrl8Q— Michael Tracey (@Michael Tracey)1496528360.0
"Members of Congress shouldn't be initiating unwanted physical contact with reporters," he fumed, in an apparent reference to the vicious attack on Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs by Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte, which left Jacobs injured and his glasses smashed.
Tracey said that he asked the 78-year-old Waters two questions after a "March for Truth" event.
"(S)he became agitated, stormed off, and 'shoved' my arm," he fumed, going on to say that while the move wasn't "excessively violent," it was "unwanted physical contact."
He said that while he doesn't want to argue "semantics," the incident "shows Waters to be erratic, intemperate, and unprofessional."
Sports writer and journalist Molly Knight rolled her eyes at Tracey in a tweet, writing, "I'm humiliated for you."
@mtracey I'm humiliated for you.— Molly Knight (@Molly Knight)1496528710.0
"Good for you!" Tracey replied. "In general, I don't think members of Congress should be instigating unwarranted physical contact with reporters."
"You crowded an elderly woman half your size and whined when she brushed your arm as she walked away. I'm embarrassed for your entire family," Knight said.
@mtracey You crowded an elderly woman half your size and whined when she brushed your arm as she walked away. I'm e… https://t.co/R4mhA3NFbU— Molly Knight (@Molly Knight)1496529423.0
Other writers and commentators piled on to mock Tracey.
Don't let it get lost that Michael Tracey's question to Maxine Waters just before she stomped on his balls was dumb as hell.— Gary Legum (@Gary Legum)1496531205.0
Video evidence of the confrontation emerged:
😂😂😂😂😂😂 https://t.co/ZmpVBKe6qe— Molly Knight (@Molly Knight)1496529518.0
Most people appeared to feel what Tracey characterized as a "shove," "push" or "swat," was in fact more of a "flick" and that -- particularly in light of what happened to Ben Jacobs -- the reporter was blowing the incident out of proportion.
Maxine Waters body slammed me and broke my glasses. Well, ok, she kind of brushed past me. But it hurt like hell. https://t.co/8I0AV9w5aG— jelani cobb (@jelani cobb)1496533010.0
"Black Congresswoman Brushes Aside Misogynistic White Manchild Sealioning All Up In Her Personal Space" https://t.co/tZeDcCeevP— Jesse: Social Justice Paladin (@Jesse: Social Justice Paladin)1496530104.0
Waters has become a lightning rod in recent months for her insistence that President Donald Trump has colluded with the Russian government and should be impeached immediately. Her outspokenness has earned her new respect among young voters who have dubbed her "Auntie Maxine."
"I am having the time of my life with the Millennials," Waters declared earlier this year.