Hyperbole Alert: 33rd Anniversary of Baiting the National News Media to Report Conservative News, Defending Christian Jim Watt 1983
33rd Anniversary of Baiting the National News Media to Report
Conservative News, Defending Christian Jim Watt 1983
It was not the first time Eugene Delgaudio made the national news. But it was the first
time that Delgaudio baited the entire national press corp to the White House to lure them
in with reports of "handicaped group with petitions regarding Jim Watt."
The national press reported it September 27, 1983
In fact it was a conservative defense of embattled Reagan Secretary Jim Watt, openly Christian
Cabinet member who worshiped God not nature, against the liberal elite.
Facing off against News Anchor Sam Donaldson, Delgaudio and 2 other leaders of the Council of Volunteer Americans visited White House officials, presented 120,000 petitions and addressed 100 members of the media on the White House Lawn.
Donaldson closely questioned the group and in the end (questioning if the spokesman indeed had
polio) after being rebuffed closed his notebook
and announced "I can see this news conference is over." Donaldson walked off. That left 99 other members of the media to go on with the news conference.
The result was a series of statements successfully made defending and explaining Jim Watt's interior
policies and the reporting in hundreds of newspapers the tremendous outpouring of support for Watt in
color photos on the nation's front pages.
UPI report still online
A pro-James Watt environmental group, led by a polio victim
WASHINGTON -- A pro-James Watt environmental group, led by a polio victim on crutches, gave the administration some of the 120,000 postcards and letters today they said they gathered in support of the embattled interior secretary.
Three leaders of the Council for Volunteer Americans met for 15 minutes with Cabinet Secretary Craig Fuller, who told United Press International there is 'no intention' to fire Watt for his remarks last week referring to a special Interior Department commission as having 'a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple.'
The polio victim, Bob Brostrom of Annandale, Va., said Watt was unfairly attacked. 'The press and the ecology bureaucrats have concentrated on getting Watt no matter what the cost,' he said.
Asked if Watt's remarks would harm President Reagan's and other Republicans' election chances, Brostrom said, 'We're not interested in politics. We're interested in justice.'
Fuller said he explained to the three that Reagan had accepted Watt's apology. 'There's no intention to do anything else at this point but to work with him (Watt),' Fuller said.
Brostrom said Watt has helped the handicapped by making national parks and monuments more accessible to them.
'We don't think with some of the examples we have in Congress of congressmen committing criminal acts and still sitting, that Jim Watt should be thrown out for saying a word that's interchangeable with 'handicapped' or 'disabled,'' Brostrom said.
'I think the word 'cripple,' in a way, in our society, is similar to the use of the words 'colored' or 'Negro,'' Brostrom said.
He said if Watt is to be fired for using the word 'crippled,' hospitals around the country for 'crippled children' should change their names.
Brostrom, 32, an unsuccessful GOP candidate for the state House, said the petition effort had been under way since spring when Watt raised the ire of music fans by suggesting the Beach Boys drew the wrong element to Washington's annual July Fourth festivities.
Earlier, Brostrom said he thought Watt was 'trying to make a crack at affirmative action and quota systems' with his remark.
'I'm thinking of forming 'Handicapped Beach Boys Fans for Watt,'' said Brostrom, adding that he thinks overall Watt has done a good job. He noted that access to National Parks under Watt's tenure has improved and Watt recently was given an award for bettering handicapped facilities at parks.
'I think overall ... what he's trying to do is move this country in the direction of energy independence and at the same time see that the environment is preserved. It's a delicate balance,' said Brostrom.
'The fact that most of the national parks and monuments which are under Watt's direction are now accessible to the handicapped is a tribute to the Interior Department and to previous secretaries of the Interior,' he said.
Over 100 newspapers carried the report on their front page but also had
printed reports from the UPI.
Eugene Delgaudio, as president of Council of Volunteer Americans
mailed 5,000 copies of Ron Arnolds book on Watt, which doubled
national circulation at the time.
Ron Arnold's At the Eye of the Storm: James Watt and the Environmentalists (Regnery-Gateway, 282 pp., $14.95) is a book about contemporary politics. Arnold's immediate aim is to defend Jim Watt, our embattled Secretary of the Interior, from at tacks that are really aimed at Ronald Reagan. But the deeper intention of the book is to challenge the extreme modern breed of environmentalist on religious grounds. It is this aspect that will give the book its lasting value.