Though it's hard to say for sure, her story on Newt Gingrich's comments on glitter-bombing leaves the answer in doubt. Haberman writes under the headline "Gingrich: Glittering me was 'an assault'" and contrasts Gingrich's "staid" reaction to his own experience with a glitter bomb to recent comments quoted in the New York Times:
“Glitter bombing is clearly an assault and should be treated as such,” he said in an e-mail. “When someone reaches into a bag and throws something on you, how do you know if it is acid or something that stains permanently or something that can blind you? People have every right to their beliefs but no right to assault others.”
The Times' story does a passable job of examining the legal risks of glitter bombing.
Haberman does not.
Haberman's story could easily foment the impression that Gingrich is belatedly overreacting rather than presenting a reasonable legal view of glitter bombing.Generally, the essential elements of assault consist of an act intended to cause an apprehension of harmful or offensive contact that causes apprehension of such contact in the victim.
The act required for an assault must be overt. Although words alone are insufficient, they might create an assault when coupled with some action that indicates the ability to carry out the threat. A mere threat to harm is not an assault; however, a threat combined with a raised fist might be sufficient if it causes a reasonable apprehension of harm in the victim.
Intent is an essential element of assault. In tort law, it can be specific intent—if the assailant intends to cause the apprehension of harmful or offensive contact in the victim—or general intent—if he or she intends to do the act that causes such apprehension. In addition, the intent element is satisfied if it is substantially certain, to a reasonable person, that the act will cause the result. A defendant who holds a gun to a victim's head possesses the requisite intent, since it is substantially certain that this act will produce an apprehension in the victim. In all cases, intent to kill or harm is irrelevant.Free Dictionary.com legal dictionary
Is that impression the planned result of intentional omission or does Haberman not know the legal definition of "assault"?
Suggestions for a third option welcome.