President Donald Trump’s rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Friday, August 28, featured Trump’s usual anti-media rhetoric, but one of his supporters took it a step further, harassing and then threatening a local TV news reporter outside the event.
Alex DiPrato, of 7 News Boston, was standing outside the event and using his phone when the man approached him and launched into a profane tirade that ended with an apparent bomb threat. DiPrato’s cameraman caught the whole confrontation on video, and it was accompanied — to comedic effect — by the Village People’s “Macho Man.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Man Apparently Accosted DiPatro Twice; The Second Time, He Told the Reporter ‘Someone’s Gonna Bomb You — Maybe Tonight’
— Alex DiPrato (@AlexDiPrato) August 29, 2020
DiPrato is using his phone as the video begins, and doesn’t seem to notice the as-yet unidentified man as he walks up to him.
“Did you hear about what happened to Rand Paul last night?” the man asks, referring to widely viewed footage of Paul and other Republican National Convention attendees being shouted at by protesters as they left the White House on August 27.
“Did you guys film that?” he continues.
DiPrato asks the man — who is not wearing a mask — to step away from him, but he refuses.
“I can stand right here if I want to,” he says. “Don’t tell me to get lost. You can run, but you can’t hide.”
As the man begins to use threatening language, almost on cut, “Macho Man” begins playing in the background, presumably on loudspeakers outside the rally, providing an ironic soundtrack to the man’s bizarre tirade.
Again referencing the Rand Paul incident outside the White House, he says, “How would you like that to happen to you?”
“We’re Americans too. Our lives matter, don’t they? Even though we’re White?”
As DiPrato and his camera operator apparently try to ignore the man, he says, “you can act like you’ve got someone to text, but you’re really just a p***y.”
“How do you sleep at night when you lie? When you’re a f***ing liar? Are you all calling the same person — nobody? Call Joe Biden. Maybe you can wake him up from his f***ing nap and his pudding.”
“You’ll pay,” he says. “What comes around goes around. You hear about the law of reciprocity, what comes around goes around? You motherf*****s are gonna pay.”
“Someone’s gonna bomb you. Might even be tonight,” are the last word he says.
DiPrato didn’t seem to take the incident too seriously, tweeting, “This man approached us the first time outside the Trump rally, left, then came back a second time while ‘Macho Man’ was playing,” adding the hashtag #machoman.
The Video Began Trending on Twitter Saturday Morning Along With ‘Macho Man,’ But Many Said the Man’s Behavior Constituted a Terrorist Threat
He threatened to bomb him, said “it might even be tonight” at the very end of the video. That’s a terroristic threat.
— Gabrielle (@GabbysViews) August 29, 2020
DiPrato’s video received thousands of re-tweets and tens of thousands of likes, and it trended along with the Village People song that ironically scored the encounter.
Many, however, thought that the FBI or local police should be investigating the man for making a “terroristic” threat. Some said that, if the man had been Black or Muslim, he would have quickly been arrested.
You might not have noticed he's white. It's ok, he's not in the frame that much and it can be hard to tell. But see? White guy threatening violence, it's free speech.
It's not like he's a Muslim or something. That would be a crime.
— Definitely not Deidre (@d_veebee) August 29, 2020
Marc Krupanski, of the Open Society Foundation, conceded that the song choice made the video funny, but the man was still communicating a serious threat.
“While ‘Macho Man’ playing makes it funny, his words are much more sinister,” he said. “An anti-masker, white Trump supporter threatening journalists and says at the end: ‘Someone’s gonna bomb you. Might be tonight.’ And this type of activity is bring praised as ‘loving America.'”
While “Macho Man” playing makes it funny, his words are much more sinister.
An anti-masker, white Trump supporter threatening journalists and says at the end:
“Someone’s gonna bomb you. Might be tonight.”
And this type of activity is being praised as “loving America.” https://t.co/ZLeFEyMrX1
— Marc Krupanski (@mkrupanski) August 29, 2020
The New Hampshire State Police Said They Were Investigating the Incident on Saturday
— New Hampshire State Police (@NH_StatePolice) August 29, 2020
On Saturday, the state police announced that they were looking into what happened.
“The New Hampshire State Police is aware of a video circulating on social media of an incident involving a Boston-based media journalism crew,” police tweeted. “NHSP and Londonderry Police are looking into the matter.”
So far, the man remains unidentified.
Heavy reached out to the Manchester Police Department as well, to see if they were investigating the incident, but did not immediately hear back.