In Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report, reporters piled the pages high on the Dean campaign. They were willing to acknowledge that Republicans may find in Dean's record and daily statements a heaping helping of things that might be described by some as liberal. But for the purposes of frustrating George W. Bush in this election cycle, that labeling will not be done by the reporters. It will be attributed to the apparent hyper-partisans penning RNC press releases and making GOP ads, and then pooh-poohed by the so-called referees of the media elite.
Time's John Cloud spun furiously that "Sure, there is a much-remarked-upon bloom of anger in his speeches, but it's petaled with irony ... Dean sometimes seems not so much the angriest man in politics but the most bemused." He's not mean or harsh or humorless. He's "intentionally unpolished."
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter -- who flits from week to week between sharp-elbowed columns and "news" reporting -- dragged out the old chestnut: "The old labels are increasingly useless." Tell that to a voter who's looking at a presidential wannabe eager to raise his taxes, withdraw his troops from terror-backing locales, mistake "homeland security" for government-employee-union payoffs, confiscate his SUV as a planetary menace, escort his daughter for an abortion without parental consent (another apparently phony pro-life issue), and turn his local hospital into a laboratory for Hillary Clinton experiments, with "universal" recessionary results.
It's also not promising that Dean can make "factual" statements about Team Bush that cannot be located in the realm of reality. In one answer to Newsweek, Dean claimed that Bush's "environmental record is widely understood to be probably the worst in most people's lives." Would anyone try to argue against the facts and say that, for instance, air quality is worse than 1970? Newsweek had no space for corrections. Bush also apparently "massed trillions of dollars' worth of debt" -- not yet he hasn't -- as if Bush is the only politician in Washington in favor of loading up the federal budget. Newsweek doesn't put an asterisk by that whopper, either.
The Dean media boomlet makes one thing clear: It's going to be another trying election cycle of liberal media propaganda, bombastic and ruthless, thinly disguised as your "objective" news product.
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