Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.

It's Too Early in The Campaign to Be This Frayed  | e-mail post

Yahoo! News - John Kerry's Wife Tells Reporter to 'Shove It': "BOSTON (Reuters) - Minutes after telling her husband's supporters to restore a more dignified tone to politics, Teresa Heinz Kerry told a reporter to 'shove it.'

In a reception on Sunday in Massachusetts, the wife of Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry told Democratic Party delegates from her home state of Pennsylvania there needed to be a change in American politics.

'We have to turn back some of the creeping, un-Pennsylvanian and sometimes un-American traits that are coming into some of our politics,' she said. Morning television shows broadcast the remarks on Monday morning.

When a reporter from a conservative Pennsylvania newspaper, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, pressed Mrs. Heinz Kerry what she had meant by 'un-American' she said repeatedly, 'No, I didn't say that, I didn't say that.'

She then turned away only to return moments later. 'You said something I didn't say, now shove it,' she said, pointing her finger at the reporter." [end of story]

The only source for video of this exchange (right now anyway) is from WTAE in Pittsburgh. I encourage everyone to watch the video. Some of the things you can really appreciate from the video:
  1. The reporter in question, Colin McNickle, did not seem to be particularly aggressive or hostile.

  2. She repeatedly denies what she said, despite the fact that "unAmerican" was her choice of words. (Although she admittedly did not say "unAmerican activities", as McNickle said. She's no McCarthyist (McCarthyite?). )

  3. She actually was finished speaking with the reporter, and storms (OK, walks) back across the room (probably 20-25 feet) just to again falsely deny her own statements and to tell him to "shove it". The print accounts don't give you a sense of her need to get the last word in regarding the issue.
Now, I do have a few thoughts on this:
  1. "Shove it"???? Why not go back to Happy Days and tell the reporter to "sit on it" like Potsie? If you're going to get pissed, do it Cheney-style, like when he told Patrick Leahy to "go fuck yourself" (or to "fuck off" depending on the source) on the Senate floor. (Ironically, on the same day the Senate voted for the "Defence of Decency Act" which raised fines on broadcasters for indecency. I wonder if CSPAN could get fined for airing Cheney live? (Although he was smart enough to at least duck the mike when he said it.) At least Justin Timberlake wasn't there to pull the veep's shirt off; Cheney's nipples, covered or not, are not something I need to see.)

  2. Why, why, why Teresa, did you have to go back to the reporter? If she hadn't done that, or if she had even told him to "shove it," in the heat of the initial discussion, it would have played so much better.

  3. The worst part is she got herself all worked up denying something she did actually say. OK, fine, the McNickle guy may work for a conservative newspaper, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, but it's not like it's a total rag. Admittedly, I don't see any indication it's going to win a Pulitzer anytime soon, but it still runs a daily circulation of around 120,000 (half that of the city's primary paper, the Post-Gazette). Admittedly, the press tends to be "left-leaning" but it's still pretty objective. Would she have gotten herself so worked up if a more clearly liberal individual asked her for clarification?
Teresa, welcome to the wonderful world of politics. No one is going to be nice to you just because you're rich and social decorum demands it. Hopefully Ms. Kerry will learn to relax a little bit. Overall, she came off in a very childish manner.

I did also love Senator Hillary Clinton's comments: "A lot of Americans are going to say, 'Good for you, you go, girl,' and that's certainly how I feel about it." You go, girl? OK, Hil, I think you've had enough Springer for today. (she's quoted in the Guardian piece below).

Coverage from The Guardian

Coverage from CNN

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