Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Drudge Tells Truth - Dave Delp

Drudge's fake report here:

FLASHBACK: Man Wearing Anti-Clinton T-Shirt Removed from Senate Gallery at Impeachment Trial
Wed Feb 01 2006 08:47:08 ET

Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war activist who was removed from the House gallery last night before the State of the Union address for wearing a t-shirt with a political message, is not the first person to be tossed from a Congressional gallery at a high-profile event for wearing a political t-shirt.

In the early days of the Senate's impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in January 1999, a Pennsylvania man named Dave Delp was removed by the Capitol police from the Senate gallery for wearing a t-shirt that said, "Clinton doesn't inhale, he sucks."

The Pennsylvania school teacher was yanked out of a VIP Senate gallery and briefly detained during the impeachment trial for wearing a T-shirt with graphic language dissing President Clinton.

Delp, 42, of Carlisle, Pa., and a friend had just settled into their seats when four Capitol security guards approached them. Delp said at the time that he was ordered to button his coat and follow the guards. Outside the chamber, he was told "several people felt threatened by your shirt."

Even after establishing that Delp was a guest of Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), the guards wouldn't let him back in and escorted him to a basement security area, where they questioned and photographed him.

After being given one of the photos as a souvenir, Delp said he was banned from the Capitol for the rest of the day. "They were polite and professional," Delp added, "but they really did scare me. I think I should have been given the chance to cover up."


There is no evidence to suggest this incident ever happened, or that the 'Dave Delp' referred to in the above text is even a real person.

Whenever Drudge publishes something without a link to a source document/article/reference, the credibility you can attach to the article goes down even further. It's really a shame that he's in that business, but I guess everyone's entitled to say what they want - unless Eric Alterman gets his way.

UPDATE: Dave Delp may be real! See reader's comments. Leaving headline as is until we get confirmation. Man, that's one sure-fire way to get a link ref!

UPDATE: This blog post at USA Today refers to the original story:

The last four paragraphs of Drudge's item at the moment come directly from a New York Daily News brief by Thomas M. DeFrank, writing in February 1999, shortly after the man's removal. The only paragraph of DeFrank's story that Drudge leaves out is the last one: "Capitol police declined to comment."

Changed headline of this post from 'Drudge Conjures Fake Person - Dave Delp' to 'Drudge Tells the Truth - Dave Delp'.

Not sure why Drudgery left off that last sentence from the original article.

Another point - neither protester should have been removed from either proceeding - period. The partisanship of the left vs. right stuff can be all-consuming, and we forget that we, the people, should be teaming up to fight the government, not each other. Yes, Sheehan was treated worse than the Congressman's wife, and yes she was arrested while Mr. Delp was not, but the actions of the government in both cases were wrong. If you really believe in free speech, then you need to be ready to criticize the government when they try to shut it down - even when the government in power happens to be your party.

1 comment:

searcher said...

Dave Delp is a real person from Carlisle. I don't know if this really happened to him, but it sounds just like the kind of thing that does happen to him, so I don't doubt the story. Sounds like a t-shirt he probably still has, too.