"There are scandals that need to be addressed. Republicans address them, Democrats re-elect them." -- Tom Delay
Former House Majority Leader Tom "The Hammer" Delay was interviewed by Matt Lauer on the Today Show recently. Lauer started the interview with a laundry list of Republican scandals -- Mark Foley, David Vitter, the Republicans caught up with lobbyist Jack Abramoff -- and this is how the interview went:
LAUER: So I went through a litany there, and maybe I should start by stepping back. We've got two members out of 49 Republican senators in office right now embroiled in controversy. So do we have a party embroiled in scandal or do we have two bad apples?
DELAY: Well, I hate to say this Matt, but you just showed the problem, the double-standard, and you just participated in it. You listed a whole lot of scandals that involve the Republicans but you didn't mention one Democrat.
LAUER: But you didn't hear me. I also just said do we only have two bad apples or is there a case of an entire party embroiled in scandal?
DELAY: I think in your premise if you had listed all the Democrats that are having problems right now it would have been different. You see the Democrats re-elect the people with their problems; the Republicans kick them out. If you look at what's going on, it's how you handle it as a party and as a political group.
DELAY: The double-standard in the media is amazing. The feeding frenzy, the sharks in the water that's going on right now because of a Republican. Where is the frenzy on Alan Mollohan from West Virginia or William Jefferson from Louisiana?
LAUER: I think you mentioned William Jefferson. There was an awful lot of coverage of William Jefferson when that story broke, congressman. [Note: NBC's "Today" has never once aired an NBC reporter explaining the Jefferson scandal. All that's dribbled out are a few 50-word anchor-read droplets. - kw]
DELAY: Yeah, for just a couple of days and then we went on. In the case of a Republican, believe me I've experienced this, it's day in and day out in the media, and they write this story over and over and over again. We all know the double-standard in the media -- it's amazing.
LAUER: I'm not going to let it, you know, end with that assumption, congressman, because I clearly don't agree with it, but why don't we just say . . .
DELAY: You exhibited it, Matt!
LAUER: You know what, congressman? I think it's unfair. Because I listed a list of problems and then immediately –
DELAY: All Republicans.
LAUER: Well we're talking about the Republican party. You just said, I invited you on to talk about the GOP.
DELAY: Because you don't want to talk about the Democrats.
LAUER: And I also started, congressman, and then said "is this a misperception that there is a party embroiled in scandal when we may just have two bad apples?" That's exactly how I started my first question.
DELAY: No, you started the first question by listing a bunch of Republicans and didn't mention one Democrat.
LAUER: Because we're talking --
DELAY: About the situation that's going on in Washington today and including both Democrats and Republicans. There are scandals that need to be addressed. Republicans address them, Democrats re-elect them.
LAUER: Alright congressman, I'll let you have the last word. It's good to have you on.
DELAY: Thank you.
* For those non-comic book readers and Norse mythology non-experts out there: In Norse mythology, Mjolnir is the magical hammer of Thor, the god of thunder, lightning, wind, and rain.