Colin McNickle, the editorial-page editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review became an insta-celeb this weekend after Teresa Heinz Kerry told him to “shove it” after she denied using the word “un-American” in remarks on–ironically–civility. NRO editor Kathryn Jean Lopez checked in with McNickle earlier today.
National Review Online: Teresa Heinz Kerry told you to “shove it” this weekend. Did you deserve that?COLIN MCNICKLE:
No. She’s a public figure who made a public statement. I deserved an answer to my question.
NRO: What was going through your head during “the incident”?
MCNICKLE: There was a point–when she came back at me–that I wondered if she would actually hit me. I think every journalist has experienced “the look.” And she had “THE LOOK.”
NRO: And you’re sure she said “We need to turn back some of the creeping, un-Pennsylvanian, and sometimes un-American traits that are coming into some of our politics.”
MCNICKLE: Quote is confirmed myriad ways, now even by Mrs. Heinz-Kerry (on CNN Tuesday morning). Her quibble was with my use of the word “activity” after the word “un-American.” But as the video of the incident shows, my emphasis was on the latter, not the former.
NRO: Has anyone from the Kerry camp apologized to you–for the First Lady in Waiting essentially calling you a liar?
MCNICKLE: No apologies–yet. Do I expect one? When George McGovern registers as a Republican.
NRO: If you could do a post-interview with Teresa Heinz Kerry, what would you ask?
MCNICKLE: The very same question. I never got my answer.
NRO: Have you had past interactions with Mrs. Kerry?
MCNICKLE: Brief and fleeting during my days at UPI and the AP.
NRO: Do you think her tendency to go “off message,” so to speak, is helping or hurting her husband’s campaign?
MCNICKLE: It’s more of distraction right now. But if she continues, the campaign will risk her words becoming the main attraction. In any event, the “shove it” clip will be used in the campaign ad nauseum.
NRO: So…will you be covering her convention speech tonight?
MCNICKLE: I’ll be listening. And, if I have the chance, I’ll ask her what she meant about anything I think isn’t clear.