May 24, 2002
McDermott's Tale of the Tape

On Monday, the Seattle Times ran an editorial on Rep Jim McDermott (D-Comfy), that was somewhat less than fawning. It was still more or less positive, but it was very backhanded praise. Even so, it was apparently too much for some of the far-left loons in the People's Republic of Puget Sound, as witnessed by this pair of unhinged responses (I am referring to the first two letters on the page.)

Okay, I have two words for the two letter writers: Linda Tripp.

"But that is not the same thing!" they will cry. Well, that's true. The tapes Linda Tripp released were tapes of her own phone calls, as opposed to the tape that McDermott released, which was an illegally intercepted cell phone conversation between Gingrich and several other congressmen, including John Boehner (R-OH). A pair of Florida Democratic party activists taped this conversation, then sent the tape to McDermott, who released it to the media in an effort to embarrass Gingrich (a rather difficult endeavor, as Gingrich was pretty damn shameless). The tape revealed that the GOP was working to time press releases (certainly nothing new in Washington), but it was no "smoking gun" or "plotting against our nation", as the two nitwits allege. Boehner filed a lawsuit against McDermott, which has been dismissed and reinstated a few times (it is currently active, as a federal appeals court refused to dismiss it last week). McDermott did not acknowledge releasing the tape to the media until last week, and flat-out lied when initially questioned about it. ("I only know what I read in the newspaper this morning," he told reporters in January, 1997.) McDermott's lawyers are claiming first amendment rights in the release of the tape, which is a dubious claim at best.

Both of McDermott's supporters are big on his "progressive" agenda, which apparently trumps any ethical concerns that he might present. (Gee, sounds like another prominent Democratic politician that will go unnamed.) The first letter writer notes McDermott's "shining a light on the hypocrisy of the far right", which is breathtakingly stupid. I guess that moral equivalence is okay only when it suits the liberal elements of the Democratic Party; otherwise, it falls under that "shredding the constitution" clause, about which the left is fond of squawking.

posted on May 24, 2002 09:33 PM


I thought it was illegal to tape record a telephone conversation unless the taper was one of the conversationalists. Did something happen to that law? Or am I not understanding the issue? (could be the latter)

posted by Quana on May 25, 2002 02:07 AM

It is illegal, and the Martins (the Florida couple who taped the call) paid a $500 fine for violating federal law. McDermott, however, is claiming that since he didn't record the call, the law does not apply to him. Typical.

posted by scutum on May 25, 2002 02:26 AM

McDermott isn't too far from a dope dealer claiming that since he didn't grow the weed, it's not illegal for him to profit from transfering it to someone else.

posted by Hank Bradley on May 27, 2002 03:58 PM

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