Arizona Congressman Ben Quayle spoke at the Congressional Correspondents' Dinner in Washington D.C. last night, and heard only the soft chirping of crickets after many of his jabs at the media and other elected officials. Then, he took aim at Politico, his arch-nemesis in the fourth estate.
Quayle's attempt at stand-up comedy wasn't completely awful -- he managed to get some laughs at the expense of his phonetically challenged father and former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer -- but it's always uncomfortable to watch politicos try to be funny.
Quayle's attacks on Politico, however, were only kinda funny, and seem to derive from
Phoenix PR flack Jason Rose giving Politico reporters the news outlet breaking the story about the congressman's ties to the scandalous Scottsdale-based website The Dirty.
From Quayle's "act":
I want to thank you all for having me here. I'm really honored to be here with so many distinguished speakers and members of the media. I gotta tell you, it's a little weird for me to be speaking at an event that's been sponsored by the media. Although I come from a newspaper family, we seem to have a strained relationship with the press. "Strained" is a polite term for "troubled." And "the press" is a generous term for "Politico." You know, it took everything I had not to refer to Politico as the worst media outlet in history. It's not that I don't believe that assertion, but I don't want to get into hyperbole. So, it's nice to see you, Congressman Hoyer...
Quayle's contempt for Politico doesn't just stem from it's being the first news outlet to report his ties to The Dirty, but because the news outlet claimed he lied about it, as well.
As Quayle told New Times for a profile piece last year, the day his "Dirty" laundry about the website was aired, he received a call from a Politico reporter early in the morning -- about 6 a.m. The reporter asked him if he "founded" The Dirty, to which he answered no. She then asked him if he had anything to do with it at all, to which he again answered no, thinking she was still referring to the websites founding.
A few hours later, after Quayle admitted to writing some "satirical posts" for The Dirty, Politico was quick to call him a liar -- despite, he says, having never actually asked him whether he'd written for the website, only if he'd helped found it.
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Politico later backed off its claims that Quayle was a liar.
Check out Quayle's Mike "the Situation" Sorrentino-esque roast below.