Leslie Moonves isn’t the only one taking shots at Jeff Zucker this month.
House Majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) on Thursday sent a scathing letter to the prexy of the NBC Universal TV Group, taking aim at the final episode of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” which aired Wednesday. Seg featured a line of dialogue spoken by a detective tracking down a judge killer: “Maybe we should put out an APB for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-shirt.”
In DeLay’s correspondence, he assumed “the slur” was a response to his comments about Congress closely monitoring federal judges.
“To equate legitimate constitutional inquiry into the role of our courts with a threat of violence against our judges is to equate the First Amendment with terrorism,” he wrote. “To compare such concerns, which are shared by millions of Americans, to a violent crime is a reckless trivialization of a serious public issue.”
He further scolded what he called Zucker’s “brazen lack of judgment,” dubbing it “a failure of stewardship of our public airwaves and as much evidence as anyone needs for the embarrassing state of the mainstream media’s credibility.”
NBC responded to the DeLay’s letter, saying that the finale was “in keeping with the spirit and standards of the ‘Law & Order’ brand.”
“The script line involved an exasperated detective bedeviled by a lack of clues, making a sarcastic comment about the futility of looking for a suspect when no specific description existed. This isolated piece of gritty ‘cop talk’ was neither a political comment nor an accusation. It’s not unusual for the show to mention real names in its fictional stories. We’re confident in our viewers’ ability to distinguish between the two.”
“L&O” creator Dick Wolf chimed in, saying, “Up until today, it was my impression that all of our viewers understood that these shows are works of fiction, as is stated in each episode. But I do congratulate Congressman DeLay for switching the spotlight from his own problems to an episode of a TV show.”