Scandal-plagued House leader Tom DeLay has been a constant fixture of the wall-to-wall Terri Schiavo coverage in recent days, declaring the case a “moral and legal tragedy” while repeatedly demagoging Michael Schiavo. And according to ABC News, “DeLay Says He’s Not Giving Up Schiavo Fight.”
All that grandstanding might give you the impression that DeLay has been on the frontlines of the Schiavo case for months. Not so. In fact, according to Lexis-Nexis, the first story mentioning both Schiavo and DeLay was a St. Petersburg Times report on March 11, 2005 — just ten days ago. The first reference to Schiavo on DeLay’s congressional website appears to be a press release from yesterday. DeLay’s other website, MajorityLeader.gov, includes three stories on Schiavo — all dated either March 19 or March 20, 2005. [UPDATE: Just noticed, one of the three items was posted 3/19 but dated 3/18.]
Not that DeLay wasn’t getting plenty of press before the Schiavo case exploded — it just wasn’t the kind he was looking for. A Google search found a whopping 1,150 stories featuring Tom DeLay and either “scandal,” “controversy,” or “ethics” in the last two weeks alone.