Heinz Kerry "Shove It" Comment Generates Heavy Media Coverage
After addressing her home-state delegates to the Democratic National Convention Sunday night on the need to restore a more civil tone to American politics, Teresa Heinz Kerry told a journalist to "shove it" when questioned about her reference to "un-American traits" when discussing the rhetoric from political opponents. Heinz Kerry insisted the reporter from a conservative-leaning Pittsburgh paper who was questioning her was putting words in her mouth and that she had not said "un-American," but a video tape by WTAE-TV of Pittsburgh shows she had made the remark only minutes earlier. While the comment would likely have received some media attention, because it happened to be captured on tape, the video was aired yesterday by the three networks, all the cable TV outlets and over 100 local TV stations from Los Angeles to New York. This saturation coverage turned the comments into a significant political event.
The Houston Chronicle reports this morning "it was certain that when America finally took notice of Teresa Heinz Kerry, it would be, in the parlance of her husband's home state, a shot heard 'round the world." USA Today reports Heinz Kerry "seems to be the one loose cannon on a deck where everything else is tied down."
The New York Times adds, "It was exactly what many Democrats had dreaded: Teresa Heinz Kerry, the candidate's wife, running off the carefully laid rails at the Democratic National Convention here." After reporting on the "shove it" comment, the Times adds that Mrs. Heinz Kerry then "took on a staff member. In an interview to be aired Tuesday on NPR, she disowned a pumpkin spice cookie recipe that had been submitted to Family Circle magazine for a bakeoff between her and Laura Bush.' Someone had made it on purpose to give a nasty recipe,' she said."
The Los Angeles Times reports that "even when she praises Kerry, his wife sometimes undercuts her point and his." At a Sioux City, Iowa rally on Saturday, Heinz Kerry said, "I don't think personally anyone is ever qualified enough to be president of this country, but he's pretty close to it."
The Christian Science Monitor adds that some "see Heinz Kerry's sometimes blunt candor as a refreshing departure from scripted talking points. Others worry that during a time of such rancorous political divisions, such independence could only inflame the raging culture wars."
John Kerry was asked about the controversy yesterday, responding, "I think my wife speaks her mind appropriately."
During an interview on CNN, Hillary Clinton was asked about the "shove it" comments and responded, "I think a lot of Americans are going to say, 'Good for you. You go, girl.' That certainly is how I feel about it." Clinton added, "There's a lot of, you know, strong emotions and that's perfectly appropriate. But then there are people who are, frankly, out to score political points or put words in people's mouths and that's not appropriate."
Heinz Kerry Derided Kennedy In Old Book.
The Boston Herald reports that back in 1975 in a little known book "The Power Lovers: An Intimate Look at Politicians and Their Marriages" Teresa Heinz Kerry, "years before becoming a Democrat, railed against the party's 'putrid' politics, said she didn't trust Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and angrily called the liberal lion a 'perfect bastard.'"