Friday, August 14, 2009

In Defense of Sheila Jackson-Lee

My impression of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee is entirely negative, however, I must say she's getting a raw deal from the news media over her phone conversation during a town hall meeting, which has become the big media hoopla of the moment. Evidently the whole 'Congresswoman answers her cell phone while cancer-patient constituent tries to talk to her at a town hall meeting' story is just too good to spoil by listening to the Congresswoman's explanation. At 1 minute and 50 seconds into the above video clip, Sheila Jackson-Lee tries to tell CNN's Rick Sanchez that she was placing - not taking - the call, and that the call was to the health care Q&A center that the Democrats have set up in Congressman Steny Hoyer's office (see Democrat's health care war room) to help members sort through the legislative mess when they need to answer questions.

It's a perfectly credible explanation. By the way she handles the cell phone, it does indeed look like she's speaking keywords into an automated system. So she wasn't blowing off the woman at the town hall meeting, she was just ineptly handling the situation.

Rick Sanchez handled his interview with Jackson-Lee no better than she did her constituent's question. He and his audience would have been better served by more listening and less badgering.

No comments: