Video Shows What Democrats Got Away With Before the Internet

These days, with the advent of cell phone cameras, social media, and a myriad different websites with varying political agendas and points of view, an expletive-laced outburst from a politician would be spread far and wide within hours, and likely result in their being held accountable within days for their inappropriate behavior.

Obviously, the same cannot be said for the days before the internet, where even if such an outburst were caught on tape, it would likely only be shown on the local news — possibly given a brief moment of attention on the national news if it was really bad.

Case in point is a video from 1984 that has recently begun to circulate on the internet that shows Cleveland’s then-City Council President George Forbes — the first black man to hold the position — in a confrontation with a local white reporter named Carl Monday over an unpaid and overdue water bill, according to Cleveland Scene.

Warning: This video contains explicit language and threats of violence.

The reporter noted that the Democrat councilman had neglected to pay his water and sewer bill for about a year — and was in arrears about $400. After an initial back-and-forth, the reporter was told by an increasingly irate Forbes, “One of these days you’re going to corner me and I’m going to kick your ass. Keep f***ing with me.”

According to a lengthy 2008 article by Cleveland Magazine, which painted the picture of an incredibly powerful politician who effectively ruled the city for decades by virtue of questionable deal-making and intimidation tactics, Forbes was known to engage in outbursts and play for the camera as a means of sending subtle messages to various parts of the community.

When asked about the unpaid water bill, Forbes initially feigned to not be aware of it and stated, “No big problem, city ain’t gonna go bankrupt over it,” and denied that his not paying the bill set a bad example for others, then added, “I don’t have the money.”

The reporter pressed him about not having the money to pay a $400 bill, to which Forbes replied, “I do not have the money, OK? Did you hear me?”

Monday then asked if Forbes’ water was still turned on, which it was, and asked if Forbes thought maybe it should be turned off.

“No, it should not be,” the politician said, and turned around to enter the council chamber.

However, mere seconds later, a clearly enraged Forbes came back out the door and got right in the reporter’s face and threatened, “One of these days you’re going to corner me and I’m gonna kick your a**, OK?”

Monday noted that it was a legitimate question to which Forbes retorted that he gave a legitimate answer, and then the sparks really began to fly.

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The reporter stated that not everybody had the luxury of having their water remaining on even though they hadn’t paid the bill, to which Forbes replied, “Tough s**t.”

While pointing his finger right in Monday’s face, Forbes reiterated his threat the he might one day beat the reporter up, “And it might be this g** d**n morning!”

As another council member intervened to separate Forbes from the reporter, the council president repeatedly stated, “I ain’t bulls***ing with you!”

While such behavior in this day and age would likely result in an abrupt apology and resignation, race relations and the political situation in the city of Cleveland at that time were such that Forbes — an icon in the black community — was able to get away with stoking racial tensions.

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