May 28, 2005
Tom DeLay jumps the shark
This is what I get for being too drained from watching the Lost season finale to tune into Law and Order: Criminal Intent on its special night.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay accused NBC Thursday of slurring his name by including an unflattering reference to him on the NBC police drama Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
DeLay's name surfaced Wednesday night on the show's season finale, which centered on the fictional slayings of two judges by suspected right-wing extremists.
In the episode, police are frustrated by a lack of clues, leading one officer to quip, "Maybe we should put out an APB (all-points-bulletin) for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-shirt."
In a letter to NBC Universal Television Group President Jeff Zucker, DeLay wrote: "This manipulation of my name and trivialization of the sensitive issue of judicial security represents a reckless disregard for the suffering initiated by recent tragedies and a great disservice to public discourse."
The Texas Republican went on to suggest the "slur" against him was intended as a jab at comments he had made about "the need for Congress to closely monitor the federal judiciary."
NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly responded in a statement that the dialogue in question "was neither a political comment nor an accusation."
"The script line involved an exasperated detective bedeviled by a lack of clues, making a sarcastic comment about the futility of looking for a suspect when no specific description existed," Reilly said.
He added: "It's not unusual for Law & Order to mention real names in its fictional stories. We're confident in our viewers' ability to distinguish between the two."
Park Dietz excepted, perhaps.
Producer Dick Wolf, creator of the Law & Order franchise, took a swipe at DeLay in his own statement Thursday, saying, "I ... congratulate Congressman DeLay for switching the spotlight from his own problems to an episode of a TV show."
That's a standard trick in DeLay's bag. Had it not been for that show on Wednesday, he'd have found something else to distract people from the TRMPAC ruling
I was all set to write something substantial about this, but then I read Julia's sympathy card to DeLay and realized I couldn't do any better than that. If you want to print that out and mail it to his office, why, who am I to stop you?
Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 28, 2005 to Scandalized!
It is silly for DeLay to worry about this, but at the same time it was really stupid for Law & Order to use it in the show. It added nothing to the plot and was inappropriate. If the same thing was said about say Hillary Clinton the left (and the media) would be going ballistic.
One last thing, if anyone jumped the shark in all this it was Law & Order. Plenty of people are complaining that DeLay is upset over this, but I bet that if you were in the same situation you would be upset too.
Law & Order jumped the shark, not Tom Delay. First, if something similar happened to you or me we would be upset too. Second, if this happened to a Democrat the media would be all over it. Personally, I think DeLay shold ignore it since it is so infantile, but I understand his reaction.
This is a classic DeLay diversion tactic. But while I'm no fan of the man, I do think this was a cheap shot. You might as well say "Tom DeLay is a right wing extremist" on a television show which is designed for entertainment, not political commentary.
This is the sort of thing that the right can (rightfully, and no pun intended) use as ammunition in their claims about the "Hollywood Left" and liberal bias in the entertainment industry. I think it was foolish to give them this ammo. I can see Medved and Bozell having a field day with this one. And I think political commentary, while certainly the First Amendment right of the producers, is a bit inappropriate.
Good grief, can the right wingers be any bigger babies? Three quick points other than the obvious attempt to take the heat off himself for his seemingly endless ethical transgressions --
1. If you're wanting to be called "The Hammer", you can't go crying when a fictional character makes fun of your reputation. It's unseemly. (Don't forget, he did make some nasty comments about judges having to "pay" for their rulings). I thought he wanted to be a tough guy, not a whiner. Man up, Tom!!!
2. To be fair, Sen. John "Box Turtle" Cornyn probably should have been cited because of his appalling speech on the Senate floor soon after the judges' shootings. It's good he looks like a senator, otherwise, he'd be totally useless.
3. Putting Tom DeLay's mug on a T-shirt would elicit much the same reactions as putting my face on a T-shirt; you'd delight a few, anger many, and scare small children.
QUIT WHINING RIGHTIES. It's more than appropriate to air a show that depicts ANY kind of story currently happening in government. What's not appropriate is to have a leader in the House of Representatives who so clearly has no ethical values! You righties seem to be able to dish it out, but can't take it. And what do you mean the liberal media would be all over it if it was Hillary Clinton? It's NOT Hillary Clinton for God's sake, and it's NOT Bill Clinton this time either.........it just so happens that now it's time for you righties to take the heat! So buck up and do it, for God's sake!