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At the Friday, Jan. 27 White House press briefing, presidential press secretary Scott McClellan was asked by one of my fellow White House correspondents a question about the utterly astounding Sen. John Kerry and his unforgettable calling from Switzerland for a filibuster of then-Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito.

This latest mountainous asininity by that one-time (but fortunately failed) presidential nominee Kerry – together with the incredible behavior of Massachusetts’ other U.S. senator, the Honorable Teddy, the Chap of Quiddick – evoked a classic response by Scott McClellan. Scott’s reply was so stimulating on the weekly Happy Friday press briefing that I yielded to an overpowering temptation to hail Sen. Kerry’s call for filibuster from the Swiss Alps with what seemed to be a most appropriate sound effect – for which I was rebuked by this widely smiling presidential press secretary.

Here is the very light-sided exchange, which I learned from my wife, the Berkeley Democrat, was featured on Washington’s Channel 7:


QUESTION: Can I also ask you, on Senator Kerry’s comments, what is your reaction to the filibuster call by Senator Kerry, on Judge Alito?

MR. McCLELLAN: On his call yesterday? It was a pretty historic day. This was the first time ever that a senator has called for a filibuster from the slopes of Davos, Switzerland. I think even for a senator, it takes some pretty serious yodeling to call for a filibuster from a five-star ski resort in the Swiss Alps. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: But you know he’s not there skiing.

MR. McCLELLAN: Les, I didn’t ask you to yodel. I can hear you. (Laughter.)

After the briefing, two other correspondents contended to me that what I uttered was not so much a yodel as something from the Tarzan movies.

And, I admitted they were right! I was, as a young boy, a great fan of Johnny Weismuller, the best of all Tarzans, who, in trees or at the end of swinging ropes, would sound off.

When I returned home, I discovered a very angry voice on my telephone answering machine.

This angry male did not identify himself where he was calling from, except to say:

“I have been a resident of Baltimore City for many years and called your show once.

“You yelled out and tried to imitate a yodel – with a useful tool and part-time weasel Scott McClellan, one of Bush’s cronies.

“You were pretty disgusting, irreverent, discourteous and ignorant – very ignorant.

“You’re a right-wing Republican and you side with them constantly – always putting down Democrats. You’re pretty damn stupid and ignorant.

“I wish you would apologize for that on the air. We all know you’re a right-winger. Try to control yourself. You’re pretty damn disgusting.” CLICK.

To which I am compelled to say: Thank you so very much for your more than apparent interest – and I do hope you get well.



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