Let’s say you’re a politician in the midst of a news conference, when suddenly someone lobs an egg toward your head. To your surprise, it hits you. Remember, you’re a politician and the cameras are rolling. This setup has already pretty much guaranteed the moment is going viral. What do you do next?
Far-right Australian Senator Fraser Anning, who is defending himself from a horrid and bigoted response to the Christchurch shootings, received the chance to answer that actually not-totally-uncommon hypothetical this weekend, when he was hit in the back of the head by an egg at a press conference. In response, he turned, and immediately punched the tosser–who has been identified as 17-year-old Will Connolly–in the face. As the video below shows, Anning actually threw a couple of punches, and then let security forcefully detain the protestor.
Connolly has since gained fame as the internet’s “Egg Boy.” A related GoFundMe topped $50,000, and offers some clues about his motivation, which is being widely praised. Most of what’s being raised will go toward victims of the recent Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand. Anning, a political extremist, previously made inflammatory and Islamophobic statements about that attack, blaming Muslims for immigrating to the country in the first place.
All of which begs a fairly obvious question: Why punch the Egg Boy? For a better model, you can look to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who got an egg in the chest while walking out to give a speech during his special-election run to replace Gray Davis as governor of California in 2003. As the video shows, Schwarzenegger calmly shed his sport coat, and allowed security to wipe him off. He did not retaliate. Instead, he cracked some jokes (and in a longer clip, defends egging as a necessary part of free speech and vibrant political discourse): “This guy owes me bacon now,” he told reporters about the unidentified assailant. “Because there’s no two ways about it. You can’t just have eggs without bacon.”