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FOXing Up The "Mainstream" Media

by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

Okay, I'll grant you that Howard Dean says...things. In that category put his recent comments that the GOP "pretty much a white, Christian party" and Republicans "never made an honest living in their lives."

It's expected that the Right would use statements like that to bash him, but it would still be nice if we forced them to work a little harder. Hannity could have called this one in. It's a little too easy, like Clinton's famous "depends what your definition of is, is" quote, when the Right couldn't restrain themselves from repeating it endlessly. In their wake came the "liberal" press, which apparently felt powerlesss to do anything but follow the Right's lead and repeat the same soundbite ad infinitum as well. And now it's happening again, on a much smaller, but still sucky way.

Dean's shooting from the hip lead to the standard Lords of Loud endless looping of his "white, Christian party" assertion. That's to be expected. Articles in the national press were followed by editorials penned by the right side of the oped page. Again, predictable. But this week came what would have been unthinkable a short time ago: The lead editorial in this Sunday's Los Angeles Times Opinion page took Dean to task for his big mouth. They scolded him for being a "reckless, emotional politician" and that his is a "counterproductive message (that) is a problem for the Democratic Party." And to top it off they closed with. "We'd be equally concerned if it were the Republicans who'd turned to their own version of a Howard Dean for leadership."

Oh, really?

Last week, Ken Mehlman -- the guy in the "leadership" chair for the Republican Party -- appeared on "Meet The Press." Anchor Tim Russert asked him about the Downing Street Memo's chronicling of the possibility that in the administration's push for war in Iraq, "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Mehlman responded by saying "... that report has been discredited by everyone else who's looked at it since then. Whether it's the 9/11 Commission, whether it's the Senate, whoever's looked at this has said there was no effort to change the intelligence at all." Russert explained that the authenticity of this report had not been discredited. Mehlman stuck to his guns...obviously loaded. "I believe that the findings of the report, the fact that the intelligence was somehow fixed, have been totally discredited by everyone who's looked at it."

Plain, unadulterated bull. The 9/11 Commission was specifically restricted from looking at the issue, and there have been no Congressional hearings. It didn't matter what the truth of the memo is. What the "leadership" of the Republican Party was willing to do, was disregard any possibility that his president might have participated in a fraud perpetrated on the tens of thousand who had died in this war and their families, so much that he went right to the lie. For his responsibility to his president was more important than his responsibility to the truth. A truth that had to do with how we placed our young men and women in harm's way.

And yet, the Times chose only to lambaste Dean for a "counterproductive message." These two "leadership" moments happened in the same week, yet the one the Times (and the rest of the mainstream media) selected to focus exclusively on Dean's message being counterproductive. Mainstream media, my ass.

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Albion Monitor June 10, 2005 (

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