Yesterday I wrote up sort of a half-assed blog post. It was mostly just a short clip of Rick Perry chatting with Steve Doocy from Fox & Friends about the evil feds, the nobility of the 10th Amendment and his overall job satisfaction. At the end of the clip in question, Perry suddenly said to Doocy, "Come down and check on your daughter at SMU." I joked that the line gave me "cold chills."
I know, I know. My managing editor, Patrick, rated that line as "Not a laugh riot, but fine." He was being nice. Look, they can't all be winners, OK?
The post went up at 1:27 p.m. At 1:44, this email from Steve Doocy appeared in my inbox.
SUBJECT: Steve Doocy @ FOX News
LETTER: Hi Anna, I saw your Rick Perry item, what does your last line mean?
"Perry signed off with a playful (or something) admonishment to Doocy to "Come down and check on your daughter at SMU." We suddenly have cold chills."
Either email me or give me your number. Thank you.
PERSONAL INFO: Steve Doocy New York NY email@example.com
I debated what to do. Two minutes later, Doocy returned.
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SUBJECT: Steve Doocy, one more thing...
LETTER: By the way, my correspondence with you is not to be published. Thanks. Steve Doocy
PERSONAL INFO: Steve Doocy NYC NY firstname.lastname@example.org
That sounded serious. I did a little emailing with my bosses before sending a reply to my new friend, Steve Doocy.
Hi Steve Doocy,
First off, I do need to let you know that anything you send to me, via email or otherwise, we will reserve the right to publish. You can't post-fact or unilaterally take anything off the record, particularly correspondence emailed to me. I possess what's contained in my inbox. You can also speak with my managing editor, Patrick Williams, about that if you like, email@example.com.
However, you're always free to post your comments in the comment section of our blog, if you prefer that over emailing me. Most people do.
My joke was a bit of snark in the governor's general direction. In the past few months the governor and the Legislature have cut 2/3 of the state family planning budget, some $73 million, which will have a devastating effect on clinics statewide. They also effectively killed the federal Medicaid Women's Health Program by writing a rule that bars Planned Parenthood from it, which previously saw some 40 percent of WHP patients. All this is a particular catastrophe in Texas, which has the highest rate of uninsured people, especially women, in the nation. According to clinicians I've interviewed, many low-income women will simply have to go without medical care, which I'm sure we can both agree is a real tragedy.
Our audience is familiar with all of those facts, because we've covered them exhaustively, along with most other Texas media outlets. At this point, a joke about Rick Perry telling someone to "check on your daughter" is weighted with a lot of implied meaning about how Rick Perry and other conservative politicians in the Legislature have treated women -- that is, with an utter disregard for their health, safety, or rights to comprehensive medical care.
Also, it was a strange comment, uttered in a weird tone, crammed sideways into a discussion that wasn't about your family at all. Was he speaking in code? "The fat man walks alone"-type thing?
If you have any other questions about women's health or Governor Perry's unique sense of conversational timing, please feel free to contact me.
Best, Anna Merlan Staff Writer, Dallas Observer
He hasn't replied just yet. I can't understand why. It seemed like he really wanted to talk to me.