Colin McNickle, editorial page editor of the Tribune-Review and the person Teresa Heinz told to ‘shove it’ during a confrontation at the 2004 Democratic Convention, reminded a patron at his neighborhood bar of the episode.
“Remember when Teresa Heinz, the wacky ketchup heiress and wife of John ‘Mr. Teresa Heinz’ Kerry, told a visiting journalist to ‘shove it’? Well, that was me,” McNickle told Wilmer Fitzgibbon, who was having a beer at the Korner Bar in Mt. Lebanon and minding his own business.
“I asked a simple question that dwelt on what she meant by her reference to certain traits being ‘un-American,’ and she turns around and storms into the room and tells me to ‘shove it,’” McNickle said. “Frankly, everyone was taken aback. I ended up on national television. Did you see it?”
Fitzgibbon said he hadn’t really watched much of the coverage of either political convention and is “more of an ESPN kind of guy,” when McNickle pressed on with his account.
“I also wrote about it in my paper, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, which seems to be something of a lightning rod with its unflinching stance in favor of free markets, individual liberty and against the creeping hand of socialism,” McNickle said. “Many of those people, especially the boobs at The Toledo, Ohio, Block Bugler – that’s what I call the Post-Gazette, because they are owned by a firm in Toledo and it just cracks people up when I do that – would tend to favor, being leftovers from the New Deal. They probably think I should ‘shove it’ too.”
After Fitzgibbon, apparently in deep thought on the matter, showed no reaction, McNickle also noted that he had written several times about the ‘shove it’ incident and that, in his view, it has cast him into national prominence, though he is not one to seek attention, even though the wife of a presidential candidate told him to "shove it."
McNickle also noted that his editorial page runs a daily box at the bottom with a photograph of PNC Chairman James Rohr, telling him to return public subsidies the company received to build a new headquarters in Pittsburgh’s Downtown.
“This has caused an enormous uproar in the Pittsburgh business community,” McNickle said. “But they seem to be keeping very quiet about it, obviously hoping our unflinching stand against corporate welfare will not result in the inevitable reversal of PNC’s position. Rohr probably thinks I should ‘shove it,’ too,” McNickle said. “But that’s the kind of guy I am. No matter what the cost, or the viciousness of the attack, I’m not going to back down when I see the public purse being snatched or socialist liberals attempting to undermine the fabric of our society, whether they’re a corporate chairman with his paws in the cookie jar, or a wacky ketchup heiress who tells a simple, brave and stalwart member of the press to ‘shove it.’ You know, that’s what Teresa Heinz said to me and it ended up all over the national media.”
McNickle thanked his companion for an engaging conversation and said it had given him much to think about before leaving for home, where he planned to tell his wife about meeting yet another local citizen who’d heard about the time Teresa Heinz told him to shove it.