That's what Valerie was doing when a nearby mom heard her call out for help. Valerie was sitting on the bottom of the shallow pool, and the suction from the drain was holding her down. David Lakey raced to free his daughter but couldn't. Other parents jumped in the water to help, but they couldn't get Valerie loose. Valerie was scared, and she began to say that her stomach hurt.
Time passed, and somebody figured out how to turn off the pool's pump. The suction broke, and Valerie was released from its grip. But as David Lakey pulled his daughter from the water, blood and tissue filled the pool. Valerie's intestines had been sucked out.
David Lakey slumped to the ground on the side of the pool. He held his daughter on his chest, praying as they waited for an ambulance. Over and over, he told Valerie, "Daddy loves you. Daddy loves you. Daddy loves you."
First off, if the story of a five year old being pinned down and mechanically disembowled in a public wading pool while her father watched doesn't make you immediately both sick and furious, you're probably not a parent.
Unless, of course, you're Tucker Carlson.
Umm... eew. _Upon reading this, I was sure, or at least hoping, that there was a missing piece here. _Did he really mean this case? _Is this the sort of case that makes him dismiss John Edwards as greedy trial lawyer?
Yep. _Indeed it is.
Yes, it would appear that this is indeed the case he's talking about. _The "Jacuzzi accident."
working as designed, and what-the-hell-is-your-problem-you-goddamn-communist-for-questioning-us. _The suction is supposed to be strong enough to pin children to the bottom of pools and perhaps suck out their intestines, apparently, so no harm, no foul. _Or maybe it's the children's fault for being so goddamn stupid as to play in a pool equipped with this particular company's products. _The precise defense of the company is never clearly described to me. _Or maybe, since I'm not a Republican, I just don't get it.
This case, more than any other taken on by John Edwards, trial lawyer, has the entire Republican establishment up in arms. _And none more so than Tucker Carlson, CNN's resident sack of shit. _Minus the sack. _Tucker has been working the Jacuzzi case angle, harping on this one particular case, for at least two full years.
This case is the one that infuriates Republicans. _This case, of a little girl being mechanically -- no, sorry, hydraulically disemboweled while playing in a public wading pool. _For this, John Edwards is, according to Ari Fleischer, an "ambulance chaser". _For this, John Edwards is, according to Dick Armey, part of a "well-connected swarm of trial lawyers who twist our legal system to pillage the productive sector for personal gain."
Note to Dick Armey: _Stay away from my fucking kid, pal.
Here is the first example I have been able to find of Tucker Carlson specifically pushing the "Jacuzzi case" talking point.
BEGALA: _Yes, sir?
ADAM SHAPIRO [caller]: Hi, this Adam Shapiro (ph) from Washington, D.C. And a question for you, Tucker. Aren't conservatives like you really afraid of Senator John Edwards of North Carolina because he is so popular with moderates, especially in the South?
CARLSON: In a word, no, Adam. This is a man who's been in politics less than four years. Before that, he was a personal injury lawyer, specializing in jacuzzi cases. Marvelous guy. Excellent manners. Very likable. That does not add up to a presidential profile.
So, there is is. _June 4th, 2002. _By that date, someone, somewhere, told Tucker Carlson that John Edwards specialized in "Jacuzzi cases." _And Tucker, being ever-agreeable to digesting good ol' fashioned talking points, runs with it.
Now, any defense of Carlson would probably have to rely on some notion that he didn't really know what he was talking about. _That he was repeating the phrase, and didn't know what the case really entailed. _After all, he said "Jacuzzi"... the actual John Edwards case involved a little girl being disemboweled in a shallow (public) wading pool. _Could he just be a tool, an empty mouth?
just be a tool, an empty mouth?
W/ Bob Shrum, Democratic Strategist
CARLSON: One of the leading candidates among the Democrats in 2004 is John Edwards. Smart guy, decent guy, articulate guy, doesn't have the resume in the current environment in politics, but four years [ago] he was a personal-injury lawyer specializing in Jacuzzi cases. That's not going to cut it in this environment, is it?
SHRUM: Well, first of all, he never did a case like that. And if you, by Jacuzzi, mean a young woman who had her insides sucked out by a defective pool drain, who has to for the rest of her life receive 24-hour-a-day care, and that he took that case and won that case, if that's what you're referring to, I think people in this country would like that.
CARLSON: And so you're saying -- just to make sure I understand you -- that that is the resume that he's going to run on for commander in chief in 2004?
SHRUM: No, of course not. No, I just have to correct the outrageous misstatement that you just made. _First of all, he hasn't decided whether he's running or not, number one. Number two ... he didn't do class-action cases. He defended very, very powerless people against very powerful interests for 20 years.
CARLSON: And made millions.
CARVILLE: What experience did [Bush] have, Tucker, that John Edwards didn't? You've attacked John Edwards viciously. Tell us what [Bush] had.
SHRUM: You took what was a really terrible tragedy, in which he did exactly the right thing, and tried to turn it into a joke. You ought to be spanked for that.
CARVILLE: They don't believe that babies sucked into swimming pools ought to have lawyers. That's the difference.
CARLSON: James, lighten up. Lighten up.
Ahem. _Holy. _****ing. _****.
Yeah, James, lighten up. _After all, if you can't laugh about someone's five-year-old daughter getting her intestines sucked out in a public wading pool, what can you laugh about?
Well, so now we know Tucker knows the real story, at least of this date. _At least of this date, Tucker Carlson knows that it was a public wading pool, not a Jacuzzi. _He knows it was a little girl. _He knows the case he's talking about
CARLSON: When the Al Gore for president campaign, you must remember that, when it first began to unravel back in 2000, Gore decided to move his staff and headquarters out of Washington to Nashville. The idea being if we go to Tennessee, people will think you're authentic. Voters aren't so easily fooled it turns out.
_But don't tell John Edwards that. The Edwards presidential campaign hasn't completely collapsed yet, and already Edwards is pretending he's just another down home southern guy. According to this mornings "Washington Post," the Edwards campaign has rigged its phone system to make it appear that the staff is working out of North Carolina. Most Edwards aides are, in fact, safely inside the Beltway, of course. But to reach them on the phone, you must dial not 202 for Washington, but 919 for Raleigh. Pretty tricky. Now all Edwards needs is some way to disguise the fact that he used to be a trial lawyer specializing in Jacuzzi cases.
_BEGALA: Let me tell you about one those. One of those cases, in fact the one I think you may be referring to, the one he's most famous for, was a 5-year-old girl named Valerie Lakki (ph). She was caught in the drainage of a pool, she was disemboweled for the rest of her life. She has to go through 12 hours on a feeding tube. John Edwards sued the corporate ******** that should have protect her. God bless John Edwards for doing that. If that's the kind of advocacy he'll take the presidency. He'll be a **** good president
_CARLSON: He got rich from that little girl's suffering. He ought to be embarrassed about it.
_BEGALA: There were 13 other example, that corporation knew about little kids being damaged by their product, they did nothing to protect them and thank god we have some people that are willing to protect us.
_CARLSON: And getting rich in the meantime, good work, I love that.
_BEGALA: Opposed to Dick Cheney got rich selling oil field equipment to Saddam Hussein. All of a sudden Tucker going to criticize who people earn a living.
As of this date, February 11th of 2003, not only does Tucker Carlson know the little girl and the circumstances of her case, but he knows that the product involved had previously injured other children, and did nothing about it.
He doesn't have a problem with that. _But he does have a problem with John Edwards "getting rich" by taking that small girl's case.
And he doesn't give a ****.
_CARLSON: As future historians may point out, the political career of John Edwards lasted fewer than six years. Elected to the Senate in 1998 after a lucrative career as a trial lawyer specializing in Jacuzzi cases, Edwards probably could have spent another couple of decades on Capitol Hill, giving regular press conferences, invoking cloture from time to time, brushing up on his senatorial image.
_But then hubris intervened. Every senator famously thinks he can be president. Edwards really thought it, so he ran. Today, Edwards announced that he will not stand for reelection in North Carolina. Instead, he will devote all of his considerable energies to securing the Democratic nomination. The only problem? Edwards is not likely to get the nomination. And he's even less likely -- far less likely -- to become the president of the United States. His relatively safe Senate seat in North Carolina, meanwhile, will probably go to a Republican. And at result, the GOP strengthens its Senate majority, Edwards goes back to suing people for a living. If it weren't so amusing, it might be a shame.
_BEGALA: This is one of my favorite kind of stereotypes of the elite right that you play into. And that is that somehow representing people against corporations who make products that kill their children is dishonorable.
_Which is more honorable, to sue a company that makes a product that kills children or to sell oil field equipment to Saddam Hussein, which is what Dick Cheney did when George Bush picked him to be on the ticket? I'll take the trial lawyers every day of the week.
_CARLSON: I would love to take that seriously, but it makes so little sense, I can't.
_BEGALA: Which is more honorable? It's a simple choice, Tucker.
_CARLSON: All I can say is, suing people actually makes America a much less happy, friendly place.
And he does it again...
w/ Dennis Kucinich, Presidential Candidate
_CARLSON: Well, if you're not an obscenely rich trial lawyer, chances are you probably have not given a dime to the John-Edwards-for-president campaign and you probably don't plan to. Well, Senator Edwards would like to change that, of course, which is why he's begun offering a copy of his autobiography to anyone who gives him $35 or more. The plan will help fund his doomed bid for the White House and move a few copies of his book, which is entitled "Four Trials" -- two birds, one stone.
_The Edwards campaign also hopes the book will explain why a former trial lawyer who, until just a very few years ago, was trying Jacuzzi cases, ought to be the president of the United States. As his spokeswoman admitted to "The New York Times" this morning -- quote -- "People don't necessarily understand how his career translates to the presidency."
_That's for certain, not that Edwards necessarily had much to do with his own book. According to his campaign, of the $150,000 Edwards received from Simon & Schuster, his publisher, $135,000 of that went to researchers and ghost writers.
_CARLSON: The guy doesn't even pretend to write his own book.
_CARLSON: It's embarrassing.
_BEGALA: Jacuzzi cases you say? That case a little girl who...
_CARLSON: There were a couple cases.
_BEGALA: Excuse me. Let me -- let me finish. This is important. A little girl had her intestines sucked out by a pool that the manufacturer could have prevented with a $1 part. John Edwards stood up to a big corporation. Republicans support the big corporations.
_CARLSON: Stood up. Paul, Paul...
_BEGALA: Edwards supported that family whose little girl was devastated by that product.
_BEGALA: God bless John Edwards, God bless trial lawyers for standing up to corporate America.
_CARLSON: Do you really think you're convincing anybody when you say, Republicans are for the company that kills the little girls? That's...
_BEGALA: Of course they are.
_CARLSON: That's not an argument. That's a bumper sticker.
_BEGALA: Of course they are.
_CARLSON: And you don't convince anybody.
_BEGALA: Tucker, they're trying to take away all of our rights to stand up to any kind of corporate power. That's what Republicans are all about, sucking up to corporate power.
_CARLSON: That's so overstated, it's insane. Nobody believes a word you say.
Actually, Tucker, some of us do. _Because this case, of all the cases John Edwards took, is the one that apparently infuriates you. _This case, this "Jacuzzi case", suing a pool drain manufacturer, is, as we have been told by you for over a year at this point, is an unforgivable act of greed.
_CARLSON: Well, how do you hit a home run in New York if you're running for president? We'll show you one candidate's swing for the fences next.
_CARLSON: Alex Rodriguez is a baseball player, American league MVP, and now a member of the New York Yankees. John Edwards is a former trial lawyer, specializing in Jacuzzi cases and a soon-to-be former U.S. senator from North Carolina.
_They have nothing in common, right? Well maybe not.
_(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
_SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you all for being here. The folks who work for me here told me that the people of New York were excited about having a new, fresh face from the South here in New York City. But, unfortunately, they were talking about Alex Rodriguez, not me.
_(END VIDEO CLIP)
_CARLSON: You know, anybody who tells a good joke, I'm on their side. I'm not sure I'd vote for John Edwards, but good for him.
_CARVILLE: He's a good man.
But it keeps coming.
_CARLSON: Your point is fair. That's why I want to go to quote that's, I don't know, just about two weeks old. This Chris Heinz, he's Kerry's stepson and an adviser to the campaign. This is what he told "The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" on June 17. Quote: "I was very pro-Edwards in the spring, but now I think we need someone with stronger credentials on foreign policy.
_In other words, the guy is a lightweight. He was a trial lawyer specializing in Jacuzzi cases just six years ago, and now wants do be vice president.
_LEWIS: Let me be very clear. One, that Jacuzzi case that you're making a joke of is a child who was tragically harmed.
_CARLSON: Oh, I know, I've heard that, yes.
_LEWIS: And John Edwards went into court and got some compensation for the parents and the child. That was a great...
_CARLSON: And for himself, yes.
_LEWIS: So let's just (UNINTELLIGIBLE) fact there for a lot of Americans, keeping that quote...
_CARLSON: Well, let's address Chris Heinz's quote here.
Tucker Carlson. _Republican.
Edited by Fran441: Please do not try and circumvent the profanity filters.