October 31, 2006

Response to post re: Steve King's stray cat analogy

I just received this response to the post we ran of the article from the Sioux City Journal which described comments Steve King did or did not make comparing illegal immigrants to stray cats:

"Dave & Tom,

There is no "transcript." Notice that none of the words attributed to King in the Journal article are actually in quotes.

I was at the Crawford County fundraiser. I challenge anyone to prove King uttered the phrase, "lazy, just like illegal immigrants."

The dufus who is the source for this garbage is also pretending he was not in attendance that night (never paid to get in and gives them impression in articles that he wasn't there) but I saw him there and other did, too. I can tell you exactly where he was sitting.

This is sleezeball politics at its best. Why did it take five weeks for this story to break if what King said was so repulsive???"

This issue has been clouded in mystery, as it took Bret Hayworth at the Sioux City Journal quite a while, as i understand it, to get anyone to go on the record re: this issue. We do understand there is no transcript, but also understand that multiple times now reporters have asked Mr. King about the comments and as far as we are aware he has never denied making them. Furthermore, about one week ago the Treasurer of the Carroll County Republican party called the campaign manager of one of Mr. King's opponents and confirmed that King made the statements, but that it was just a joke and that people at the meeting laughed thinking it was humorous (this person was upset that the Carroll paper did not report that people laughed, as it didn't represent the true spirit of the joke). Of course the comparison of illegal immigrants to stray cats is not a joke, its repulsive.

My guess, to answer your question, on why it took 5 weeks to break a story like this if so repulsive is that until a reporter with a lot of credibility (like Bret Hayworth) can get verifiable sources, he cannot print statements like this, and it took him quite a while to get sources he was comfortable with (my understanding is that he is very comfortable with the sources he finally got, but that they were all pretty nervous about repercussions).

I agree with you that this is very repulsive and the solution is very simple. Mr. King just needs to deny that he said it. Until Mr. King does that it is difficult to look the other way as we have a hard time buying into the concept that the paper would just randomly print things like this without significant research and backup. We all know that slander and libel are very real risks for papers, and that Mr. King, if wronged by the publishing of these statements, would have that as recourse.

Thank you for your response and please let me know if Mr. King has denied making these statements, and where that occurred as of course that would be extremely relevant, and until he denies them we must all question "why not"?

1 Comments:

Anonymous midwestmom said...

Dave,

Bret Hayworth was not out looking for corroboration on this story as his article ran just three days after it first appeared in the Carroll paper. Hayworth only recycled Burns' deficient piece. From Hayworth's story:

"Much of the 5th District race revolves around opponents attacking King for being too inflammatory. Another comment made news Tuesday, when the Carroll (Iowa) Daily Times Herald caught up to his Sept. 5 comments in Denison.

"A transcript of King's comments made at a Republican fundraiser in Boulders Conference Center showed he compared illegal immigrants to stray cats that wind up on people's porches. King said at first stray cats help by chasing mice, so people feed them. King added that the stray cats then have kittens, which are liked for their cuteness, but eventually the strays, fed by the people, end up getting lazy, just like illegal immigrants. King would not comment on what he said on that day."

I asked Doug Burns for a copy of his "transcript" and he refused.

Again, I didn't hear King speak the phrase, "lazy, just like illegal immigrants," and no one can prove he did.

It didn't take Doug Burns five weeks to get one or two other people to say King used a stray cat analogy when talking about illegals. Nobody in attendance would have denied hearing that, nor has King denied saying it.

Some people were obviously, as reported, repulsed, while others thought it was amusing. Could it be, then, that his comments weren't the candidacy-killing moment it's being made out to be?

Also, the source for this phoney transcript rents and sells property to many, many illegals in Denison. No one has more to gain from ignoring illegal immigration than he does.

This was nothing more than an orchestrated attempt at an "October Surprise" by the tiresome anti-King crowd. It didn't work.

3:20 PM  

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