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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Tom DeLay on ‘Dancing With the Stars’: WTF?

I feel like I’m living in a fucking Terry Gilliam movie or something. Former Texas congressman Tom DeLay — whom Houston IndyMedia called, in 2003, a “warmonger, liar, scam artist, religious and racial bigot, socipathic bully, corporate whore….and the most powerful man on Capitol Hill,” and offered a long list of his crimes to back up that characterization — will be appearing on Dancing With the Stars next month. Hoorah!

The tenor of most of the news articles I glanced at seems to be “good for him,” “isn’t that wonderful,” and “here’s his chance for a comeback.” At worst, any criticism of the choice of DeLay — who is currently under indictment for money laundering — revolves around wondering if DeLay will be entertaining enough. There’s no suggestion at all that there might be other reasons he’s a poor choice for a light television diversion.
The whole first page of ABC’s coverage of the story is shit like this:

“I love dancing & you’ve got to love dancing if you’re from Texas,” DeLay told Chris Cuomo on “Good Morning America.” “Conservatives can have fun too. Conservatives can let their hair down& and put on some dancing shoes.”

“This is going to be so fun and so crazy,” said DeLay, later adding, “I’m in it to win it.”‘

On the second page of ABC’s coverage, it’s revealed that DeLay previously used his position as a congressman to ask his constituents to vote for a particular contestant on the show!

DeLay previously acknowledged his love for “Dancing With the Stars” when he sent out an e-mail asking people to vote for country singer Sara Evans, a previous contestant on the third season and a supporter of the Republican party. Evans, said DeLay, “represents good American values in the media.”

“We have always been able to count on Sara for her support of the things we all believe in. Let’s show Sara that same support by watching and voting for her each week to help her win this competition,” DeLay wrote in the e-mail.

In the ranking of the evil that DeLay has done, this is pretty low on the list, but still…

ABC, which is also the network home of Dancing With the Stars, buries the lede in the middle of the second page:

After being elected to 10 consecutive terms in the House of Representatives, DeLay left Congress in 2006 after a Texas Grand Jury indicted him on money laundering charges related to corporate campaign contributions.

DeLay’s case has been slowed down by procedural delays and has never gone to trial.

And the only criticism of DeLay ABC could manage to find was a bit of snark:

“It would be interesting to see if Mr. DeLay can do the Perp Walk, does he know that step,” Andrew Wheat, research director of Texans for Public Justice, told ABC News’ Brian Ross.

It’s all just “politics,” anyway:

“My political opponents have had their day,” DeLay said on “GMA,” addressing the indictment. “They don’t want to go to trial because they know they abused the grand jury system.”

“I’m moving on,” he added. “I’m not going to let modern-day politics hold me back.”

See, you can’t keep a lying, warmongering, bigoted, sociopathic, bullying, corporate whore down! That’s how The Man sticks it to The Man!

Eventually, on the third page of its story, ABC offers us the logline for The Tom DeLay Story, the heartwarming tale of a misunderstood rich white man who shows the world just who he really is, coming this Fall to ABC:

And DeLay said he planned to use his skills honed in Washington to his advantage.

“Some people said I was the best whip that ever served,” he said. “I’d be a fool not to use that skill in this. I’m going to go after the American people, show them that I can dance.”


Does the phrase public disgrace hold no meaning anymore? Tom DeLay on Dancing With the Stars: WTF?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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