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Teeing Off Online

By Art Buchwald
Thursday, April 7, 2005; Page C02

How do people get their news? Let me count the ways.

In the old days, I got my news primarily from newspapers, then radio, followed by television and, in the past few years, the Internet. It is a tortuous path, but as Walter Cronkite might say today, "That's the way it is now."

Let me give you an example.

Tom DeLay. My first solid news came from a friend who claimed he heard it in a bar on K Street.

He said Rep. Tom DeLay, the Republican House majority leader from Texas, took a trip to Great Britain in 2000, with a stopover at the St. Andrews golf course in Scotland. It was partially paid for by the Choctaw Indian tribe, which wanted gambling permits in Mississippi in the worst way.

It was confirmed on my car radio when I left the bar.

When I got home, I saw it on CNN.

The Washington Post printed the congressman's escapade on Page 1, pointing out that a lobbyist for the Choctaws had helped finance the trip.

An earlier story said the indictment of DeLay's close associates (charges the congressman claims were politically motivated) had Republican lawmakers worried the majority leader might be forced to step aside.

I couldn't believe DeLay, a former exterminator, could do anything wrong -- certainly not play golf with Indian tribe money at St. Andrews.

But I needed verification.

I went to my computer and Googled "DeLay Indian Gambling St. Andrews." My computer came up with hundreds of results.

There was "DeLay plays golf with Indian gambling money." And "Rich fat cats in Texas meet with DeLay to discuss moral values," and "Oil executives count on DeLay to pass legislation giving them tax breaks."

I was disappointed I couldn't find "DeLay golf scores" on either Google or Yahoo. But I had enough information to confirm that the story was for real.

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