Even when it’s handed to them, the media just don’t get it.
What am I blathering about? A Washington Post article outlines a meeting between Howard Dean, House Minority Whip Richard Durbin and Senator Harry Reid. House Staff Writers Mark Liebovich and Shailagh Murray pen the following:
“Have you had advice for Governor Dean about his most recent comments, sir?”
Reid replied that there isn’t anyone who hasn’t “misspoken” and recited an on-message litany of “important issues” that Democrats are committed to addressing, including the escalating costs of gasoline, health care and college tuition. “We’re here today to talk about the American people,” he said. But practically everyone else in the room wanted to talk about Howard Dean.
“Senator Reid, you just used the word ‘misspoke,’ ” yelled one reporter, out-shouting a half-dozen others. He asked if Reid thought that Dean had “misspoken.”
“You know,” Dean interjected, “I think a lot of this is exactly what Republicans want, and that’s a diversion.” He bemoaned the “media circus” of the last two weeks and said that he and Reid were not concerning themselves with that — only with vital things like Social Security, national defense and jobs.
“And all this other stuff is all fine and good, and we understand how exciting it all is to you,” Dean said, shaking his head.
The press chorus then devolved into a cacophony of competing screams. (And Dean knows screams!) After several seconds, a booming voice cut through the noise. It belonged to Brian Wilson, a Fox News correspondent who was standing in the middle of the crowd. He asked Dean “if people are focused on the other things that you’ve said about hating Republicans, about Republicans being dishonest and then this latest comment about the Republican Party is full of white Christians. You say you hate Republicans — does that mean you also ”hate white Christians?
Dean didn’t respond and Reid talked about having a “positive agenda.” Wilson was so insistent that at one point, Durbin asked, “Does he run the press conference?” After Reid took the one question of the morning that was not about Dean (it was about Iraq) there were a host of disjointed and semi-decipherable follow-ups (none of which was about Iraq).
Someone asked whether Dean would “change his ways,” or if he planned to be “less confrontational in the future” or whether he “regrets” anything he has said. An aide to Reid announced that the photo op was over.
“We’ll decide when we’re ready,” Wilson said. Later, Durbin would recount the scene with some exasperation. He chided the media for avoiding important issues in favor of trivial matters. “Please, for a minute, get to the substance,” he said to a group of reporters. “You guys should be ashamed of yourselves.”
Note the Fox News hack that just won’t let matters die. I mean, this is last week’s news. Howard Dean has said some pretty interesting stuff lately about the Democratic platform, but the only thing Joe Beerbelly hears is trash talk endlessly recycled in tasty little gulps. I’m reminded of Walt Disney’s depiction of the hyenas in the movie the Lion King; Clueless, sniveling morally bankrupt characters, all. So too are the average Fox News media hacks.