Monday, December 12, 2005

"You know, you made an offer. It might be that I might change my mind someday."

Who said this? Representative John Murtha on videotape in the 1980s. The context? A sting operation which caught several Congressmen taking bribes. Murtha went to the townhouse of an "Arab businessman" and listened to their offer. That was his response. Only a handful of Congressmen took the chance to listen to the offer, of those only all were indicted but Murtha, who ambiguously turned down the bribe.

While Murtha is certainly no coward and an America war hero...I would say this paints him a bit more fallible of a picture, much more fallible than the picture painted by the media.

8 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

Wow, Wyatt's Torch is on the cutting edge!

12/12/2005 3:59 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

That is pretty huge, how is it possible that no major news media outlet has told us this. If this were a Republican it would only go to feed the "party of corruption" crap. Seriously, I don't care what party you are from, that jack ass Republican who cried a couple weeks ago after admitting to accepting bribes, and now this it amazes me.
Every time I hear Murtha open his mouth the less intelligent he sounds. I appreciate his military service, but that does not mean he knows anything about foreign policy, and he seems to be proving that.

12/12/2005 11:14 PM  
Blogger Purn said...

It's not major news because it happened 20 years ago (in the 1980's). It's not really 'cutting edge' news.

12/13/2005 10:09 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

The connection is cutting edge because no one reports it or mentions it in the context of their description of Murtha.

12/13/2005 11:54 AM  
Blogger TravisG said...

Two points:

1. A link would be helpful.

2. If you're expecting a lawmaker to meet a standard that falls anywhere near spitting distance of "infallible," you are doomed to disappointment.

12/19/2005 4:59 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

1).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abscam

That is the scandle I was referencing. The quote was from the book (rather than the internet), "Charlie Wilson's War" if you look up Murtha in the index you will find it. It is difficult to find the quote much else but as the CBS producer (and author of the book) tells it this was broadcasted all over the evening news.

2). Perhaps a good point, unfortunately. I just personally detest moments when the media annoints a politician as a saint or near perfection, regardless of their affiliation.

12/19/2005 5:32 PM  
Blogger TravisG said...

Eh, I don't know that the media annointed him a saint. I thought he was presented as a credible and somewhat unlikely critic of the war, given his background and voting record.

I realize you, like many conservatives, are disappointed that individual stories about Murtha and his criticisms have cited his service record and generally hawkish congressional career, without similar inclusion of black marks on his record. However, you're overlooking the realities of reporting news. Stories can only be so long, and the brief inclusion of Murtha's resume enhances the context of his criticism and explains its newsworthiness. The inclusion of perceived deviations in his lengthy voting record or his unindicted association with a decades-old scandal do little to enhance the reader's understanding of the story at hand. Which, of course, is that a hawkish congressman has emerged as a critic of the administration's war prosecution through his introduction of a resolution to redeploy troops.

You may choose to disagree with Murtha's policies, but you ought to be able to detect their newsworthiness.

12/20/2005 10:43 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Well, I suppose my feeling is that had this guy been an R he would not be able to do much without having the scandal mentioned.

I would say that Murtha's comments were very newsworthy considering the source but not worthy of the length of coverage they have been given. When Murtha was supporthing the war as a hawkish Dem he was hardly mentioned. In fact I had never really heard of him.

As an aside, the book I mentioned is interesting. Offers an excellent account of the Afghan War that is seldom heard (basically how one Democratic Congressman was behind the whole thing-superceding the White House).

12/21/2005 12:55 PM  

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