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Americans Unfazed by Tom DeLay Indictment
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Research by The Pew Research Center in the days following Senator Tom DeLay's indictment on campaign finance-related charges reveal a disturbingly apathetic public. "Most people simply have no idea who the man is, frankly," said researcher Bernard Blankenthorpe, "Some have suggested he was a country singer. But most just say they've never heard of him." Among those that recognize him as the House Majority leader, 80% felt that he was guilty, though only 10% could articulate what they thought the charge was.

"All them politicians is crooked, they just ain't all been caught yet," stated Enos Huckston, when asked about DeLay, "No point in gettin' all worked up when one of 'em does get found out." His attitude was mirrored by many interviewed by Pew. "Even among those that understood the charges," explained Blankenthorpe, "There was a definite feeling of apathy toward the whole situation. They don't see the relevance to their lives, in the same way that the Martha Stewart trial failed to stir any emotion."

"I guess if he took the money, then he ought to go to jail," suggested one woman, clearly unaware of the charges against DeLay. Another offered, "I don't know why they always pick on the ones that are actors, they're as much members as anybody," apparently confusing Tom DeLay with actor John DeLay.

"We were honestly intent on determining what Americans thought about the indictment on conspiracy charges of one of the more powerful men in government", bemoaned Blankenthorpe, "But what we found is that no one even knew it happened, didn't know who it happened to, and upon finding out, didn't care. Like it or not, we learned more than we bargained for."
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