James Quayle, publisher of the Huntington Herald-Press in Indiana, has released a public statement saying that the American media was irresponsible in its misrepresentation of the facts about his son, Dan, during the 1988 presidential campaign. Vice-president elect Dan Quayle’s “featherweight” image, his alleged affair with lobbyist Paula Parkinson, and his stint in the National Guard were all media-manufactured scandals, said his father.
While the media portrayed Dan Quayle as a weak, inexperienced candidate who rode on the coattails of the Reagan administration during his campaign, his father, a veteran in the newspaper business, said the media failed to note the two significant victories during his son’s political career.
He cited Dan Quayle’s congressional victory during the election of former President Jimmy Carter, and his re-election to the Senate in 1986, at a time when the Republicans lost eight seats, as proof that his son was not simply riding on the coattails of his party to win an election.
On the media’s coverage of his son’s alleged affair with Paula Parkinson, Quayle said he was surprised that reporters didn’t check into facts which have been public record for seven years. “She (Parkinson) never claimed that Danny was one of those (congressmen). In fact, she has specifically said he wasn’t. I thought it was irresponsible for John Chancellor to make that false charge when the facts had been in the public record for seven years.”
During the brouhaha over Quayle’s National Guard service, a young man who described himself as a “nobody,” and who is now an unemployed truck driver, enlisted in the Indiana Guard at the same time as Dan and served in the same unit with him. “I thought he made a good point when he told the press that he and Danny had entered at the same rank and came out with the same rank,” said Quayle’s father.
“He asked, ‘If Danny had so much pull, how come he wasn’t made an officer? You probably didn’t hear about that. It didn’t fit in with the story CBS and the others were busy trying to prove.” Quayle related that, “in the end all they proved was that the media can be pretty vicious and irresponsible. Of course they say they are only doing their job of informing the public. Quite frankly, I’m fed up with those in the media who so blatantly use their power to try to make and break certain candidates by blowing smoke and hoping the public will conclude there must be fire.”
Dan Quayle and his wife, Marilyn, are members of the McLean Presbyterian Church in a Virginia suburb near Washington.