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July 26, 2004

Heinz Kerry to Reporter -- "Shove It!"

Teresa Heinz Kerry, the foreign-born billionaire wife of presumptive Democrat nominee John Kerry, addressed the Pennsylvania delegation to the Democrat Convention last night. In it, she decried the loss of civility in American politics.
"We need to turn back some of the creeping, un-Pennsylvanian and sometimes un-American traits that are coming into some of our politics," she told her fellow Pennsylvanians at a Sunday night reception at the Massachusetts Statehouse.
A few minutes later Colin McNickle, editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, inquired about which "un-American activities" she was referring to. That was the point at which the fireworks began. According to USA Today,
Minutes later, Colin McNickle, the editorial page editor of the conservative Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, questioned her on what she meant by the term "un-American," according to a tape of the encounter recorded by Pittsburgh television station WTAE.

Heinz Kerry said, "I didn't say that" several times to McNickle. She then turned to confer with Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and others. When she faced McNickle again a short time later, he continued to question her, and she replied: "You said something I didn't say. Now shove it."

Now to be fair, Heinz Kerry did say "traits" rather than "activities", so there was a misquote. But McNickle did quote her in a substantively correct manner, and she refused to respond to that question. Some reports also indicated that she screamed for McNickle to "Shut up!" during the outburst. Apparently that is the attitude of Heinz Kerry towards the free press, something that didn't exist in the Third World hellhole where she and her European family helped exploit the black majority and where it still does not exist .

But what is interesting is the response of issued on her behalf.

A spokeswoman for Heinz Kerry later said, "This was sheer frustration aimed at a right-wing rag that has consistently and purposely misrepresented the facts in reporting on Mrs. Kerry and her family."

Interestingly enough, the spokeswoman couldn't be troubled to give one example of a misrepresented fact, or a response to the legitimate question asked of the Mozambique-born wife of the soon-to-be anointed Democrat candidate for President of the United States. And it is an important question, as it cuts to the heart of the attitude of the Democrats towards First Amendment protected political speech and freedom of the press.

Also interesting is the response of the presumptive 2008 candidate.

Asked about the exchange on CNN's American Morning, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday, "A lot of Americans are going to say, 'Good for you, you go, girl,' and that's certainly how I feel about it."

Apparently the Hildebeast (who will address the convention tonight, along with her husband, Billzebubba) has no respect for the media, most of which acts as lapdogs to the liberal Left. Independent voices are to be shouted down. I hope that she is wrong in her assessment, and that the American people have more respect for freedom of the press and the presence of diverse voices in the marketplace of ideas than the Democrats do.

I am particularly interested in a couple of points. First, no one seems concerned that the Foreigner cannot even remember what she said in a speech minutes before. Is this a sign of mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse, or dishonesty, or the arrogant belief that the "little people" have no right to question her?

Second, Democrats were particularly outraged when Dick Cheney directed an expletive towards Pat Leahy in what everyone admits was a private conversation. Where is their expression of outrage at the Alien's abuse of a member of the media at a public event -- and her return for a second round after the initial outburst. It appears calculated to me.

Third, no less than the NY Times expressed serious concern at Jenna Bush's act of silliness when she stuck her tongue out at reporters and photograhers while riding in the presidential limousine. There was discussion in grave tones of the negative manner in which this reflected on her father and his campaign. If such a normal act by a 22 year old is such a source for concern, will this apparently hysterical attack by a "woman of mature years" who has decades of political experience behind her be treated in a similar manner by the media?

By the way, Colin McNickle will be blogging at the Democrat Convention this week.


UPDATE: A tip of the hat to the fine folks at Southern Appeal for Joel's entry on this little affair. It links to Pittsburgh television station WTAE-TV's story on the incident. It contain's two items of note.

The first is a part of her speech to the Pennsylvania delegates.

"I remember a time when people in political parties in Pennsylvania talked to one another and actually got things done," said Heinz Kerry, whose first husband, Republican Sen. John Heinz of Pennsylvania, was killed in a plane crash in 1991. "We have to go back to those days when we can do things properly, for the people need it."

"My prayers for you, for me, for the country, for the world, are that we keep this at a high level, with dignity, with respect and with a great idealism and courage that took our forefathers to build this great nation," she said.

We see how long the dignity lasted on her part.

The second is the response of her husband, the presumptive nominee.

Kerry, speaking in Orlando, Fla., where he was to hold a town hall meeting Monday, told reporters, "I think my wife speaks her mind appropriately."

So apparently Kerry thinks that lying about the content of a just-completed speech and verbal abuse of a reporter for seeking a clarification of remarks is appropriate. How very telling.

It also contains the very classy statement issued by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

"Colin McNickle did just what any good reporter does -- he asked questions. And the question he posed in this instance was legitimate," said the statement by Editor Frank Craig. "The tape of Teresa Heinz Kerry's speech shows she used the word 'un-American,' even though she denied it. It is unfortunate that she ruined what was an otherwise good message by resorting to exactly the type of tactics she was criticizing."

Yep, that just about covers it.





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