Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has known her fair share of controversy. From furor surrounding her state’s immigration policy to an infamous clash with President Barack Obama, the politician isn’t afraid to hunker down and defend herself against detractors. In her latest spat, Brewer is being accused of getting a little too frustrated after a reporter asked her about global warming over the weekend — so angry, in fact, that she allegedly “slugged” the journalist.
The video of her interaction with KTVK-TV’s Dennis Welch has understandably gone viral. In the clip, after being asked about her view on man-made global warming (Brewer doesn’t believe that human beings are responsible), the governor responded to Welch, saying, “where in the hell did that come from,” clearly referencing his question.
Gawker, taking all of this into account, notes that the story didn’t end there. A media blog called Romanesko apparently received an e-mail from a local newspaper photographer, highlighting other events that purportedly unfolded once the cameras stopped rolling.
West Valley View’s Michael Clawson told the blog that the governor hit Welch after he asked, “do you believe that global warming is caused by man?” Here’s Clawson’s description of what occurred:
After her answer, a handler swooped in and whisked her away, but about three paces out she turned back around to face the reporter who asked the last question. He had turned to a camera operator and seemed to be putting his microphone away. Brewer took her left hand, balled it into a fist and with the back of her hand she slugged the reporter on the back of his right arm. Not hard, but with enough force that he spun around to see what was going on. She leaned in real close and looked up (she’s a shorter lady) and said in a whisper loud enough for most of us to hear, “Where the hell’d that come from?” I was there taking still pictures for a newspaper so I don’t have the exact dialogue, but he said he thought the question was appropriate. She was shaking her head, saying that the conference was about energy, not global warming, and she seemed to be perturbed that she would be asked her opinion about something. The reporter shrugged his shoulders and said again that he thought the question was fair. Brewer seemed upset, but as she walked away she cracked a smile, probably the same smile she gave Obama after the finger wag.
Anyway, it was funny and kinda surreal.
Watch the news report, during which the controversial exchange unfolded (you can see Brewer’s reaction to the question):
While some may dismiss the photographer’s claims as an embellishment of what unfolded, when Romanesko forwarded the account to Welch, the reporter responded, “I’d say this is a fair and accurate account.”