On Jan. 6, CBS prepared a really tough "Evening News" story to accompany Bill Bradley's endorsement: "The Dean campaign also, apparently, offers America new love, as CBS's Richard Schlesinger reports." Schlesinger described how young people are finding dates at Dean's Meetup events, as a Brooklyn woman was looking for "Mr. Right," or as they joked in this case, "Mr. Left."
Can't you just feel that boiling media hatred?
Perhaps the funniest claim came from CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer on Dec. 28. To him, Bush is "a polarizing politician" who "seems to have become someone that you either love or you hate." But Schieffer hailed Hostile Howard as a ... uniter? Yes. Even though Dean can't make nice with his fellow Democrats, Schieffer suggested Dean "is a hit" because he supposedly brought so many new people "together" through his Internet campaigning, and "you have to admire him for doing that. And in the long run, I think that's very good for politics."
Even after Dean greeted the results with a raging, growling, campaign-imploding speech, two of the networks tried to be nice, even as the rest of the country was already in stitches over his uncontrolled "YAAAAAAAAAH!"
ABC's Claire Shipman described it only as "aggressively upbeat," and Charles Gibson helpfully summarized "he's still feisty, says he fights on." In his interview, Gibson didn't even ask Dean a question about his meltdown. CBS's Cynthia Bowers described it simply as "brusque." The toughest words interviewer Hannah Storm could muster for Dean were that some found it "decidedly unpresidential." Only NBC's Katie Couric directly hammered the growler: "You were quite fired up, quite passionate, but some people feared you might implode."
Dr. Dean may not be the Democrats' prescription against President Bush. But the blame doesn't lie with the media. Dean needs to look in the mirror. Then he can scream his "YAAAAAAAAAH!"