Howard Dean discovers America!

FRIDAY, MAY 31, 2013

We don’t think we’ve ever heard statements like this: Last night, we heard a type of discussion we don’t think we’ve ever heard.

Well—we’ve never heard it from liberals. If you tune to Fox or to Rush, you hear this type of discussion all day long, then all night.

Howard Dean was chatting with Lawrence on The Last Word. To his credit, Lawrence started the transgressive discussion.

Lawrence noted the apparent dumbness of a recent statement by Ted Cruz. Eventually, he said what follows to Dean.

A new world was about to be discovered:
O’DONNELL (5/30/13): Governor, the way the media treats something like that, a comment like that—and I just want to compare it to this moment you had and the presidential campaign where the media came down on you and tried to crush you, because of the volume you chose to speak at over a noisy crowd. Not the words you were saying, simply the volume chosen in a noisy crowd. The media decided this man can’t be president.
Say what? Since when do liberals talk that way about the mainstream press?

Answer: Career liberals never say things like that, but Dean took the ball and he ran. You never hear Democrats say things like this. This represents a very unusual moment:
DEAN (continuing directly): I actually don’t think that’s true. I think the reason they went after me is I was taking on the media, as well.

My campaign, when you look back on it, was really a fight against the Democratic Party for not standing up for who they are. And it was a fight against the media for the B.S. they sell every day as—which passes for the truth.

And we’re having a big fight with the media now. And I believe in the First Amendment. I think the media position on the A.P. stuff is right. But I love watching the media squeal and be sanctimonious because they`re the most thin-skinned people you could possibly imagine.

O’DONNELL: Absolutely.
Was Candidate Dean really “taking on the media?” We don’t exactly remember that, though it may be true in some sense.

But good lord! When have Democrats ever engaged in a discussion like this? In that exchange, a major Democrat and a liberal TV star openly trash the mainstream press, not the people at Fox.

Dean said they sell B.S. every day. He said they’re sanctimonious and hugely thin-skinned. He also said they went after him when he was a Democratic candidate for the White House.

It’s extremely rare to see a major Democrat and a liberal talker discuss the mainstream press corps that way. Republicans and conservatives do this all day long, of course.

Our big stars are much more polite.

As Dean and O’Donnell continued, so did their blatant misconduct. We’re not sure we’ve ever seen an exchange like this:
DEAN (continuing directly): And now, they’re a player, they’ve got to see what it’s like to be on the other side. I hope they remember this after they get done. But that’s— You know, I got taken down because the volume was too high or whatever it was. But I pissed off the establishment, and that’s what happens when you piss off the establishment.

(Chuckling) I also made a lot of mistakes in my campaign.

O’DONNELL: Well, you know—long time ago. Howard Dean and Ari Melber, thank you both for joining me tonight.
We’d have to say that Ari didn't exactly jump in on this.

Were we hallucinating last night? If not, we actually saw a major Democrat say he got taken down by the mainstream press because he pissed off the establishment. Have you ever seen a major Democrat say anything like that?

We don’t know if those claims are true about the Dean campaign. But that’s plainly what occurred to Clinton, Gore and Clinton before him.

Plainly, Candidate Gore got taken down by the mainstream press because the establishment got pissed off (apparently about Bill Clinton's ten unnatural sex acts). No historical event could be any plainer.

But for fifteen years, it has been impossible to get a Democrat or a career liberal journalist to make that plainly accurate statement. Simply put, the American public isn’t allowed to know that this occurred.

With Gore, of course, the stakes were higher, since he was the presumptive and actual nominee. But have you ever seen a major Democrat talk the way Dean did?

Over the past twenty years, citizens have persistently been kept from hearing such talk. Over those many airbrushed years, have you noticed that fact?


  1. And it's happening again with Hillary Clinton - luckily the public is so turned off by Republican antics that the mini-scandals, including Benghazi, aren't generating any interest. But anyone who believes the Benghazi stories are about anything except Hillary's presumptive future nomination is hopelessly naive.

    1. As is anyone who thinks it's going to end with Benghazi. They are going to go after her until (and if) it becomes obvious they can't stop her, at which point they'll roll over and kiss her ass. Clinton hatred is a disease, and there are still plenty of people left in Washington who have it.

  2. So, Bob seems to be proposing that the mainstream media is a vested powerful interest in national politics with its own agenda, operating to influence elections. If that is the case, it should be addressed explicitly as a power source so that people can understand that news reports are not "objective" but motivated toward achieving a goal.

    Note that the mainstream press was not successful in derailing Clinton or Gore or Clinton. Each won their elections numerically speaking. Gore was robbed by the Supreme Court in collusion with conservatives. Hillary Clinton was robbed by the Democratic party backing Obama via the rigging of the nominating convention, most likely in collusion with Wall Street interests backing Obama, in my opinion.

    I am unsure whether the press has its own interests and agenda or whether it acts as a tool of other larger interests, such as people with money, Wall Street, corporate America, or someone else -- stop me before I become too paranoid.

  3. Granting Bob's premise that the media got pissed off at Al Gore because of what Bill Clinton did, was their objection really because of "ten unnatural sex acts"? I recall a article or editorial in the New York Times explaining their objection to Clinton's behavior. It said that when Clinton ran for President, they knew he was a horndog, but they expected him to restrain himself while he was President.

  4. I'm generally in agreement with you on this, Anonymous. Clinton was elected, and re-elected handily, in the face of media contempt for him. In fact, he was not only a very effective president, but also a very popular one ---reaching 70% approval *during impeachment*. There's a yawning chasm between the public and the media, the former of which discounts or ignores the latter. I'm not sure Bob grasps this. They hounded Bill --- AND IT DIDN'T MATTER. Maybe helped him.

    Yes, we Democrats can't get our story straight on Gore: The media cost him an election that we think he actually won. At any rate, he did empirically win a majority of the votes. And throw in Nader, the corrupt Supremes, etc....and the fact that Gore's 2000 campaign won't go down in history as one of the great ones.

    Gore simply couldn't overcome the very obstacles that were regularly strewn in Clinton's path, largely because he wasn't, well...Bill Clinton.

    Media contempt for Hillary hasn't hurt her one iota --- she's more beloved than ever, particularly with mainstream Americans who don't get their marching orders from MoDo, and either don't know, or don't care who MoDo is.

    I only quibble with your interpretation of the 08 primaries. Obama beat Hillary because (a) of her war vote (b) he outmaneuvered her in racking up delegates, particularly in caucus states and (c) he was a once-in-a-lifetime, meteoric, charismatic figure who seized upon a moment when there was a hunger for change.

    1. Your outline of the differences between Hillary and Obama show the influence of the press on the narrative about that election. First, Obama and Hillary voted identically on the various war bills while both were in the Senate. Obama says he wouldn't have authorized the Iraq invasion but he wasn't in the Senate then, so who knows what he would have done? There is no tape of the famous anti-war speech he supposedly gave and only his word for what was said. Second, he won caucuses while she won primaries. Outmaneuvered is a kind word for the irregularities the Clinton people encountered during those caucuses. I followed those complaints in real time but they were not much reported in the media and nothing happened to change the outcomes. In any case, he had far less popular support and still only wound up with more delegates because of the Rules Committee decisions. Third, I disagree that he is once-in-a-lifetime or charismatic. He is likeable but cannot speak well extemporaneously and supported positions unappealing to true liberals who were concerned about those positions. He certainly broke barriers but so would Clinton have done. Some of us saw the drawbacks of his temporizing personality and his pandering to Wall Street well before the primaries ended and tried to talk about it on the blogs, but were banned in what can only be called a concerted alternative media (blogosphere) effort in support of Obama. There is still bad feeling about it. Obama did not beat Hillary -- he used unfair, unethical and illegal tactics to steal a nomination she earned by winning votes, often by double digits over Obama in populous areas. Obama won Red State caucuses and the hearts and minds of the wheeler-dealers who rigged things in his favor. Clinton was treated worse than Dean because she bore the brunt of sexism much worse than any racism attributed to Obama's detractors. It is only the press who built up Obama as some meteoric charismatic figure, to justify his lack of qualifications and experience and to put in place a pre-ordained choice they perhaps viewed as easier to work with than the demonstrably self-determined Clintons.

    2. Taylor .... is that you?

    3. Anonymous on 5/31 @ 5:41P,

      Bitter much? Obama's people played the complex rules of the Democratic primary system. Do you have any actual evidence of "unfair, unethical, and illegal" tactics?

      Since when do parties count delegates by "populous areas"? Of the five state primaries that Clinton won most handily (by 20% or more) -- OK, AR, KY, WV, and RI, only the last went Democratic. It's true that Obama racked up big margins in the south, which he didn't stand a chance of winning in the general election, but he also won by 20%-or-better in WA, IL, VA, CO, MD, NH, and DC.

      As I recall, Clinton's claim to the popular vote lead in the primaries rested on the contested primary in MI where she was on the ballot and Obama wasn't.

      It's true that Obama's team squeezed the delegate map as hard as they could, running up large margins in strongholds and caucuses in states that also had primary elections, but why was that unfair?

    4. My point is that Hillary had more than one supporter.

    5. Deadrat, you guys stole that election for Obama. Own it. You can try to pretty it up all you want by selectively quoting stats (yes, Obama won his home state of IL) but how can a primary race be that close without even calling the roll at the convention one time through? Clinton deserved to receive her delegate counts for the primaries she won. Her achievement was historic too. That would have been fair to both Clinton and those who voted for her, but it would have made clear how close the primary really was and undermined the narrative about Obama's transcendence. Obama won but he cheated and we all know it. That's the problem with winning that way -- you always know you didn't win squarely. And yes, those of us who were upset about what happened to Hillary are not going to forget about it, shut up about it, or buy into the Obama mythology, just as Bob is not going to shut up about Al Gore and what was done to him by both conservatives and Democrats.

    6. I agree with Anon's. @ 5:41 & 8:30 assessment; that is pretty much the way I saw events transpire in '08.
      Also, on another subject, regarding legislation before the Senate in the campaign season, Obama voted for the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act in the summer of '08; Hillary voted against it.

    7. Anonymous on 5/31 @ 8:30:

      Bitter and delusional much? You think I'm part of some "you guys" who stole the nomination for Obama?

      I'm not trying to "pretty up" anything. You whined about Obama winning by winning red state caucuses. I'm pointing out that this claim doesn't stand up to a few minutes' scrutiny of a 2008 primary results map.

      If Clinton had wanted a roll call at the convention, I'm sure she could have demanded one. I suspect she valued party unity and her chances at being named Secretary of State more. Once she knew she didn't have the delegates what would have been the point for one of the party faithful? To depict the certain nominee as weaker than he appeared?

      You keep claiming that Obama cheated, but your only evidence is that everybody knows it. Take Nevada. It's widely reported that Clinton won 51-45, but those were percentages of delegates won at the country level. The Democratic Party didn't count caucus-goers, so no one really knows which candidate had more supporters. Not that it mattered: this was a caucus, not a primary. Nevada awards delegates state-wide and based on Congressional district, giving rural areas in the north more delegates than their population would warrant. Obama ran ahead of Clinton in those areas and ended up with one more pledged delegate at the state convention. Was that fair? I don't know, but them's the rules. And Obama didn't cheat in playing by them.

      I'm not asking you to shut up. How could I possibly effect that? I'm asking you to provide evidence for your claims.

  5. How did Governor Dean take on the media? Dean said two things threatening to the media.

    One was that we should revisit the Clinton Communications Modernization Act that allowed for far greater media aggregation, that it had gone too far, and it was time to break up what had become media monopolies/oligopolies/cartels.

    Then he said the US should have a more 'even-handed' Middle East policy.

    The media piled on and destroyed him in no more than a month from those two statements.

    My brother, a conservative and obviously not a Deaniac, thought what had happened to Dean was appalling and terrifying in its import for this country.


  6. Perhaps Dean took on the media by the very nature of his campaign. He gained popularity and donations via the internet. Thus, he substantially bypassed the media.

    Perhaps the media didn't being bypassed. Perhaps they liked being able to shape the political race, so they punished Howard Dean for undermining their power.

  7. I would like to see the Occupy movement develop something like a flash-mob quick-response capability structure to harass Big Media organizations (including the major local news outlets) with a couple hundred insufferably loud demonstrators when they do something like they did to Dean, Gore or Kerry. Sort of the Martin Luther "95 Theses" approach where they tack up bills of particulars on the door. The question will be how to get those complaints before the public enough to offset the sound-bytes the Big Media will use (like the Dean "howl" or the Gore "lies"). YouTubes with a movement of blogs and other progressives making them "go viral" might be part of that strategy. Pushing Jon Stewart hard will help, too. Reporters and editors will have to know, if you pull the same shit you did before, we are going to make your life very uncomfortable.

  8. I remember reading an editorial in the WaPo in either December '03 or January '04 that tore Dean to shreds. I am sure that the hit piece represented the consensus of the Village People. I cannot remember all the details, nor have I been able to find the op-ed or editorial, but I do remember thinking that the Howard Dean they characterized was not the same man I had seen on television or read about. I think those correct who think that it was Dean's attitude toward Middle Eastern policy that was at the heart of the obvious hatred embedded in the WaPo piece. I am also quite sure that Fred Hiatt wrote it.