Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

February 29, 2004

by J

Spinny, Spin, Spin

The latest Howard Kurtz hatchet job on Dean is in the Post. (Funny how, even though he's left the race, they're all still so afraid of him they need to make sure he stays dead.) As usual, a story outline has been chosen and quotes chosen to fit best within that story line. I suspect that most of the sources for this are Trippi acolytes. And I find it interesting that the chosen storyline is "blame the woman!" In this case: Kate O'Connor.

While I'm sure there's plenty of organizational intrigue that one could dig up, I don't think that's unique to the Dean campaign. And, the media has already happily taken credit for their take-down of Howard Dean. So, I still maintain that whatever mistakes were made by whomever inside the campaign (and in any campaign, there will be mistakes), external factors played a much larger role. jlb wrote at Kos:
It would be very interesting to see an unflinching analysis of the venality and blindness of approved DC establishment candidates, instead of just this "noble-but-not-very-for-the-big-leagues" condescension. I've always thought a lot of the Pop hagiography about John F. Kennedy (that deeply flawed politician) was to make damned sure that our loss of him meant that hope for an America that lived up to its ideals was lost too, safely buried so that the political hacks and corporatists could go about their business. And all the Reality Instructors and wannabes who hate anything not part of the Machine will rejoice, even if they pull sad faces.
Howard Dean himself is pretty annoyed and said:
The quotes attributed to me by others in Howard Kurtz's gossipy rendition of the divisions in the Dean for America campaign are entirely false, as is the description of my reaction after losing the Iowa caucuses, before the famous speech.

The danger of using unattributed sources as Kurtz and so many others do, is that the veracity of the informants can not be evaluated. In this case Kurtz included a significant amount of material which was not true, and produced a story which was greatly exaggerated.
Another poster on Kos observed:
it doesn't strike me as particularly surprising that the Washington Post writes a post mortem that slams the Vermont people while making the Washington consultants and party regulars look like they knew what they were doing.
It doesn't surprise me, either. I expect we'll see many more "Why won't you stay dead, damn youuuuu?!!?!?" articles before the "oo, shiny!" conventions distract these people.

PS: NYCO continues to be incredibly articulate and insightful.
Posted by J at February 29, 2004 08:48 AM

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