A day after Greg Gianforte, the Republican front-runner in the Montana special election, was charged with assaulting a reporter, conservative website LifeZette published a misleading headline about the incident.
The article tells a different story from the headline. The "change" the headline refers to is Acuna being unsure of where Gianforte's hands were positioned while allegedly attacking Jacobs.
The post was immediately denounced by some reporters on Twitter.
However, as soon as the article was published, Glanforte's supporters seized the opportunity to discredit the assault story.
One of the people who shared the story was Montana's Elections Director, Derek Oestreicher, who posted it on his private Facebook page. He said he deleted the post after BuzzFeed News contacted him to ask about the share and told him it was inaccurate.
The Guardian reporter was trying to ask Gianforte about the health care bill before the alleged attack. Voters are headed to the polls today.
Jane Lytvynenko is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada. PGP fingerprint: A088 89E6 2500 AD3C 8081 BAFB 23BA 21F3 81E0 101C.
Contact Jane Lytvynenko at email@example.com.
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