Tom DeLay Dances Around Cuomo on "GMA"
Former House majority leader Tom DeLay stopped by ABC News's "Good Morning America" this morning to answer probing questions about sequins and pink shirts.
Yesterday, "Good Morning America" broke the story that DeLay would be among the D-listers competing on the next edition of ABC Entertainment's ballroom dance competition series, "Dancing With the Stars."
"Conservative Republican, former congressman, former House majority leader!" ABC News cougar Diane Sawyer squeaks incredulously.
"Now set to hit the dance floor?!" Sawyer squeaks some more.
"What does this say about America?! What does this say about Tom DeLay?!"
While Sawyer tries to calm herself, her co-anchor, Chris Cuomo hazards a guess: "Versatile?"
"There it is!" Sawyer marvels at his grasp of the situation.
"He is going to appear on 'Dancing with the Stars'!" she begins to squeak again.
"He is going to appear live this morning and answer our question: Will there be sequins in his future or not? A lot of probing inquiry this morning!"
After a quick break in the DeLay story to mention that the bologna and liverwurst with which you are making sandwiches to pack in Junior's lunch box might be giving Junior cancer, ABC News cuts back to its Big Story:
"Well, you heard it here first yesterday: Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader, is a new member of the cast of 'Dancing with the Stars,' " Cuomo brags, while ABC News tosses up a banner on the screen that reads:
"The Hammer does 'The Hustle' "
"The question is: Will tiptoeing around partisan factions and pirouetting on policy points lead to a winning ballroom bounce?" Cuomo asks. Sawyer presumably has left the set to go breathe into a brown paper bag.
"He may be the biggest surprise ever on 'Dancing with the Stars'!" Cuomo gushes. By now, it's obvious ABC Entertainment is putting another quarter in the tip jar every time ABC News can work the show name into this news story:
Cuomo tells us, in case we were dropped on our heads as infants, that "Dancing With the Stars" is "the unlikeliest of spotlights for the guy who came to be known as the Hammer on a very different dance floor" for his ability to hammer legislation through Congress.
Yes, we're in for a mess 'o dance/politics analogies.
Cuomo, who is known for reporting things thoroughly, acknowledges DeLay "has a history of even trying to influence 'Dancing With the Stars.' " -- ka-ching!
"In an e-mail blast during Season 3 he asked people to vote for country singer Sara Evans," Cuomo notes. Surprisingly, he forgets to mention how, in that e-mail, DeLay said they should vote for Evans because she and her GOP operative husband represented good American values while "Hollywood" -- that would be ABC -- needed to be sent a message, loud and clear, that "smut" -- that would be Evans's fellow "Dancing" competitor Jerry Springer -- had no place in America.
Springer did not win and Evans quit the show in order to divorce her husband after discovering he was allegedly using the family computer to troll for sex and store 100 photos of himself nude with the little colonel standing at attention.
Cuomo does however, note that in 2005, DeLay suffered a "fall from grace" when he was indicted by a Texas grand jury, charged with breaking campaign finance laws and forced to give up his position as House majority leader. Cuomo also notes DeLay ran for reelection in 2006 and won the GOP primary but withdrew "amidst the Jack Abramoff scandal" in which two of DeLay's aides were convicted of bribery and conspiracy.
Then, sensing there's enough sadness in the world without ABC News dwelling on the downer stuff, "Good Morning America" cuts to video of Tom DeLay cooing over an adorable little white Bijon Frise dog.
"Since then, DeLay has remained comfortably out of the spotlight," Cuomo prattles on happily.
"His interest in 'Dancing with the Stars' (ka-ching!) has now led to his latest attempt to mobilize people behind a cause -- this time his own."
It's time to grill DeLay.
"The $15 question: Why are you doing this?" Cuomo asks the politician, cutting to the chase.
"I love dancin' You got to love dancin' if you're from Texas," responds DeLay, appearing via satellite from Houston, sitting in some library, in front of a bookcase filled with the spines of gorgeously bound books. Except, over in the left-hand corner of the bookcase, one paper-bound book has been turned to face the camera:
"No Retreat, No Surrender
One American's Fight."
Written by Tom DeLay with Stephen Mansfield.
Forward by Rush Limbaugh and preface by Sean Hannity.
"I've been dancin' all my life," DeLay continues, while Book Cover Tom DeLay looks down sternly, not sure he's buying this particular line.
Via Satellite DeLay wilts under the pressure:
"I haven't danced for about 20 years," he confesses. "But, um, I love dancin'."
He explains that when the dance show's producers called "I jumped right at the chance" because the experience is going to be "so fun" and "so crazy."
Cuomo, like Book Cover DeLay, remains dubious.
"You are known as a staunch conservative, very serious guy. How do you put the two together?" he demands to know.
"Conservatives can have fun, too, you know," DeLay shoots back.
"Hahahahaha -- yes sir," Cuomo replies, completely won over by DeLay's compelling argument.
"Conservatives can let their hair down and open their collar and put on some dance shoes and get out there on the floor just like the rest of them," DeLay says, warming to his topic -- and careful not to go too deeply into what he means by "the rest of them."
"And now, to put politics aside here a little bit, you deny allegations against you," Cuomo says.
Apparently no one has ever explained to Cuomo what "politics" means.
"Set the record straight for people," newsman Cuomo demands of DeLay.
"Where does the investigation stand with you?"
And then, with Book Cover DeLay smiling down on him approvingly, Via Satellite DeLay begins to put politics aside:
"Obviously, my political opponents have had their day. I was indicted four years ago -- can't get to trial because the district attorney keeps appealing the case. They don't want to go to trial because they know that they abused the grand jury system and they indicted me on laws that don't exist in Texas. And we'll prove that -- some day.
"But I'm moving on. I'm not going to let modern-day politics hold me back -- particularly when I have a chance to go on 'Dancing with the Stars' (ka-ching)!" DeLay says, doing his bit to help ABC News fill the tip jar.
"In fact, you could says you are about to face a much more harsh panel -- those judges on 'Dancing with the Stars' (ka-ching!)," Cuomo says.
Noting DeLay will not find out until later today which of the show's professional dancers would become his partner, Cuomo shows DeLay some ballroom dance video in which DeLay's head had been plunked on top of a male dancer and "Dancing" regular Julianne Hough's head has wound up on top of the chick's -- only the DeLay and Hough heads were way too big for the dancers' bodies so it will look really funny.
"What do you think? Does it look right to you?" Cuomo grills DeLay.
"Hahahaha -- it looks absolutely right to me," says DeLay who, again, not to put too fine a point on it, is appearing from Houston via satellite.
Book Cover DeLay scowls at Via Satellite DeLay for his transparent obfuscation.
"I can't see it right now," DeLay admits.
"But I'm ready to go -- whoever my dance partner is. I can't wait to meet her this morning and get to work -- we've got a lot of work to do."
But Cuomo isn't finished giving DeLay the business:
"Because of your political prowess, you have started [the Web site] Dancing with DeLay. You are tweeting. Are you going to use your political skills to get a little bit of a grass-roots movement going here in your favor?"
"Well, Chris, some people have said I was the best whip ever served in the United States House of Representatives," DeLay simpers.
"I'd be a fool not to use that skill in this. I'm going to go out to the American people and show them that I can dance and hopefully they'll vote for me."
Cuomo goes in for the kill:
"Are you willing to take the step -- will you go all the way to sequins?" he asks.
We gasp. Book Cover DeLay begins to quiver like a mousse.
"I don't know about that," DeLay says, refusing to surrender to the sequins.
"That's up for negotiations," DeLay continues, "Sequins -- and pink."
We struggle against the urge to gouge our eyes out as ABC News begins to flip doctored photos on the screen: DeLay's head on the body of a ballroom dancer wearing tight black pants and shiny yellow shirt unbuttoned down to his navel. DeLay's head on top of tight pink pants and pink shirt unbuttoned entirely, exposing bronzed man-breasts.
"You will have to take these things into consideration, sir," Cuomo zings.
"But if I open my shirt I'll have to get some false hairs," DeLay responds feebly, pointing to his chest.
We force down the rising nausea.
"That's okay," Cuomo says.
Lisa de Moraes
August 18, 2009; 10:13 AM ET
Categories: TV News
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