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DC Restaurant Offers Free Pizza to Journalists Following Assault on Guardian Reporter

Deep-dish classico pizza at Pi Pizzeria, which serves Chicago-style pies. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Pi Pizza declared Thursday “Love a Journalist Day” and will give a pizza to anyone holding press credentials, a business card, or other identifying materials. “In light of the physical and figurative assaults on our journalists and real news, we at Pi want to thank the hardworking reporters, producers, editors, photographers, videographers and all those who deliver us critical and round-the-clock news,” the St. Louis import says in a graphic.

Pi’s promotion, which it’s holding in the other cities it serves as well, follows the much-reported-on assault on Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs with which a Montana congressional candidate, Greg Gianforte, has been charged. But it’s been rough out there for journalists everywhere lately. As Michael Calderone writes in HuffPost, the attack on Jacobs follows some disturbing incidents involving people working in news:

Alaska Dispatch News reporter Nathaniel Herz told police earlier this month that Republican state Sen. David Wilson slapped him during an encounter over a recent story.

West Virginia reporter Dan Heyman was arrested on May 10 while trying to ask a question of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who later praised police for their handling of the situation.

And last week, CQ Roll Call reporter John M. Donnelly said he was pinned against a wall by security guards after trying to ask a Federal Communications Commission member a question in Washington.

President Trump has consistently raised the temperature on such interactions by, among many other interactions, declaring the press the “enemy of the American people.”

But today, at least, we get free pizza. Oh wait, no: This wouldn’t be journalism without some self-flagellation: The Society of Professional Journalists’ Region 2, which represents this area, tweeted at Pi that the promotion is a “nice sentiment, but journalists should avoid accepting freebies.” 🙁

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.