Whopper of the Week: Mary McGrory

“Daschle is notoriously respectful of dissenters. He never, says a Democratic senator who voted against him on the tax bill, says a word when you go the other way. He doesn’t question your motives or allow semi-official hazing sessions. The furthest he goes is when he hears that someone is off on an issue, and invites the wanderer to come and listen to the Daschle take on the subject.”

Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory, on May 27.

“Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the senior Democrat on the Finance Committee … told Daschle he had just cut a deal with his Republican counterpart and would be helping push a major tax cut through the Senate.


“The conversation that followed, according to people familiar with the call from both ends, left both men briefly thinking their relationship would be permanently marred. Not prone to shouting, Daschle icily told Baucus he had abandoned his colleagues and assured him that people would remember his breach for a long time.”


–Washington Post reporters John F. Harris and Dan Balz, on May 27.

“When Montana Sen. Max Baucus told fellow Finance Committee Democrats about the tax-cut compromise he had worked out with Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the deal met with praise from New Jersey Sen. Robert Torricelli, USA Today reports.

“But then a parade of Democrats lit into Baucus. As the meeting ended, the Montanan approached [South Dakota Sen. and Minority Leader Tom] Daschle to talk. Daschle turned his back.”


–Washington Times “Inside Politics” columnist Greg Pierce, on May 30
(Thanks to reader Steve Shirley.)

[Update, 6 p.m.: Reader Ananda Gupta has alerted Chatterbox that the first two quotes, though not the third, appeared (without links) in a Whopper-of-the-Week-esque item written by John J. Miller and Ramesh Ponnuru for the May 31 National Review Online. This might be an opportune moment to remind readers to alert Chatterbox when they know their piquant juxtaposition to have been noted previously by anyone else so that Chatterbox can attribute the item to the appropriate source or sources.]

Got a whopper? Send it to To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.


Whopper Archive:

May 25, 2001: Ari Fleischer

May 18, 2001: York, Pa., Mayor Charles Robertson

May 11, 2001: Ted Olson

May 4, 2001: Rear Admiral Craig Quigley

April 27, 2001: Ben Affleck

April 20, 2001: South Carolina state legislator Chip Limehouse

April 13, 2001: Gray Davis

April 6, 2001: Sumner Redstone

March 30, 2001: Spencer Abraham

March 23, 2001: George W. Bush, Rep. Jennifer Dunn, and/or the Treasury Department

March 16, 2001: George W. Bush

March 9, 2001: Russ Freyman, spokesman, National Association of Manufacturers

March 2, 2001: Paul O’Neill

Feb. 23, 2001: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton

Feb. 16, 2001: Oscar spokesman John Pavlik

Feb. 9, 2001: Lynne Cheney

Feb. 2, 2001: Bobby Thomson

Jan 26, 2001: Denise Rich