It was a P-G story on The Pledge of Allegiance, Congressman Murphy, and a League of Women Voters meeting.
I contacted Congressman Murphy's office for a comment. Specifically, I asked:
I was wondering if the Congressman had discussed the absence of the Pledge with either Mr Rich or Mr Woeber (or anyone else) before the meeting. Was his decision to ask about The Pledge made on the stage or before hand? Does he know Rich and Woeber? Or anyone on the Peters GOP committee?His congressional office told me that as it was a political issue, they were passing it on to his campaign.
And if the agenda pre-approved by both campaigns, then why was it a problem that the Pledge wasn't on it?
I haven't received a response, yet.
Know who else hasn't received a response?
Eric Heyl of the Trib.
It's a very odd experience for me to say this, but I find that I am in agreement with much of Heyl's column (yea, I know, I know!). He's of the opinion that it was a stunt of Murphy's, though that position is cloaked by apophasis. That's where you bring up a point by saying you won't mention it. Here's Heyl at the end of his column:
Did Murphy engage in an act of stunt patriotism? While I would never suggest that, I will note his campaign has posted three pledge-related videos on YouTube since the debate.Murphy's Media Page tells us who Murphy did talk to: our good friends Quinn and Rose. Heyl asks the same rhetorical question (questions he knows how you're gonna answer) twice more:
Nice to know that both candidates in the 18th Congressional District are pro-Pledge of Allegiance.And then after telling us that Glenn Beck praised the crowd in Illinois for its spontaneous interjection of the pledge:
Glad that's cleared up. But a pivotal question remains unanswered after Tuesday's debate at Peters Middle School between Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, and Democratic challenger Dan Connolly.
Did Murphy make patriotism as much a prop at the event as a mask would be in a traveling production of "The Phantom of the Opera"?
"What good reason is there not to say it in that setting?" [Beck] said.Every rational telling of this story (ie not Quinn and Rose) points out the obvious. Heyl as well:
A good question, certainly. An even better one, at least for the purposes of this column, is this: Did Murphy decide to dine at a table that Beck set for him the previous night?
The league has no specific prohibition against reciting the pledge, but strictly adheres to debate formats candidates agree to long before they take the stage.Given all this, I think the answer to all of Heyl's rhetorical questions would have to be yes. It was a political stunt.
Murphy, who did not immediately respond to an interview request made through his campaign manager Thursday, should know that.
A dangerous stunt, given the backlash facing the LWV moderator in Illinois (thanks to the Super-patriots there). Mediamatters:
The moderator and the organizer of an Illinois congressional debate who were criticized for not allowing the Pledge of Allegiance to be recited said they have received death threats and plan to go to law enforcement authorities to file complaints.E Plebnista.
Each also blamed Fox News host Glenn Beck for stirring up opposition to their work by criticizing the incident and attacking them by name on his Fox News program, which they say has sparked an increase in hateful e-mails and phone calls since then.
"Our webmaster has stopped forwarding the e-mails to me because they have become so ugly," said Jan Czarnik, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Illinois, which sponsored the Oct. 20 forum in Evanston. "I am getting death threats and I am taking it to our local FBI. There are postings on Fox News' Facebook page that include threats on my life."