On Tuesday, the Post reported that Tancredo "no longer will grant interviews to print journalists and will communicate to them only through written statements," a stance that earned Tancredo yet another headline: "Tancredo ends face-to-face newspaper interviews."
The written-statement strategy is a time-honored tradition with many politicians and government agencies. When the Denver Department of Public Works was besieged with questions about now-ousted parking director John Oglesby earlier this spring, the department's PR person required that all questions be sent via e-mail ("Boot Hill," March 7). And President Clinton's office in New York City will accept media information requests only by fax. (Memo to Bill: I'm still awaiting your response.) Still, Tom Tancredo has never been the strongly silent type.
In fact, a few hours after reading that Postheadline, I was communicating with Tancredo -- on the phone rather than face-to-face, since he was fresh off a plane back in Washington, D.C., but communicating nonetheless. And none of that namby-pamby, off-the-record stuff, either.
"There are select reporters at the Denver Post to whom I will not give an interview about the Apodaca situation because of my concern about the way in which that whole thing has been reported, especially in the Post," says Tancredo. "I will talk to other people at the Post about it, and I will talk to anyone about anything else."
And how. He was chatting it up with his fellow passengers on the plane that very morning. "Well, Congressman," asked one, "what's going to happen to you this week?"
"People who agree with me have been very nice," Tancredo says. "And the others, well, they don't talk with me."
Even his dental hygienist, who said she hadn't voted for a Republican since the Vietnam War, was kind when he stopped in for his appointment last week.
"And after all this stuff with the media," he points out, "going to a dentist is nothing."