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27-year-old Rep. Aaron Schock, who stepped into the national spotlight when he was voted Huffington Post's Hottest Freshman in February, has graduated from asking "Who's TMZ?" to defending TMZ during an appearance on "Reliable Sources" Sunday morning:
Rep. Schock: People who watch TMZ or different mediums don't expect to see their congressman on such a show. They're used to seeing the Britney Spears or the movie star, but to see their hometown congressman on a show like this kind of raises their interest and gets them a little excited.
Howard Kurtz: How did you become known for your abs?
Schock: Don't ask me...I think it's in reference to the president going topless, if you will, in Hawaii and people making comments about him and he's from my home state and so they try to make the comparison I guess.
Kurtz: Do you want to take off your jacket and roll up your sleeves and maybe we'll give them something that TMZ can pick up?
Schock: Yeah...[laughs nervously] I don't think we'll do that.
Kurtz: You're on the Transportation Committee, you're on the Government Reform Committee, you voted the other day to impose that 90% tax on those that took the infamous AIG bonuses. Wouldn't you rather be known for these kind of issues, for your work on these committees?
Schock: I'm doing my part to get my message out and talk to the traditional media about those issues, but I also think some of these alternative forms are important because it gets non-traditional voters engaged...if they're learning about me on TMZ or some of these other blogs and YouTube videos then they're recognizing my face and my name so when I'm out on CNN or some of the other networks talking about issues, they're maybe going to stop from clicking the channel and listen to what I have to say.
Kurtz: Doesn't this in some way trivialize you as a member of Congress?...Are they going to see you and think of your latest vote in the House of Representatives or are they gonna think of the guy with the abs?
Schock: I guess there's worse things they could be saying about you.