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Tuesday, September 16, 2003


FOX/GOP want Dean, huh?,2933,97397,00.html

posted by Trammell at Tuesday, September 16, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Yeah, right. If Dean is truly the "desired" Dem nominee, why such a tempest in a teapot? Dean National Jared Medina sent us this great analysis of the K Street flap as it's being reported by FAUX News. Some of you may not watch FAUX, but they have been running a version of this story on constant rotation since Saturday. It's important to note that the biggest piece of "meat" in the story -- that the campaign said Dean's remarks were "off-the-cuff" -- is not being reported by CNN or MSNBC even as a FAUX citation. Hmmm, maybe they don't trust their reporting...I wonder why. As if George Bush or John Kerry or Bill Clinton -- or FAUX news commentators -- actually write all of the words that come out of their mouths, please. And folks, after all of our kvetching that Dean needed more debate prep and media consulting, shouldn't we be thrilled that he got the best? I am. Jared, take it away:

Some of you might be aware that FOX News has been repeatedly airing the story regarding Howard Dean's appearance on K-Street.

They twist the coverage in a few subtle [and not-so-subtle] ways that make Dean look bad if you don't know both sides of the story:
Rivals to former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean are wondering about the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate's ability for straight talk, one day after he appeared on a fictional television show being coached with a line that he ended up using in a real live debate.

In a case of art imitating life, Dean last Tuesday delivered one of the most memorable lines of the Democratic presidential debate when he was asked about his capacity to serve the needs of African-American people even though he comes from a state with very few African-Americans.
First of all, since there are no references in the article to other Democratic rivals wondering about the candidate's straight talk ability, it's a fairly unfounded statement. Secondly, they hype the fact that he used lines from a "fictional" show for a real live debate.

What they don't report is that the K-Street taping was actual REAL debate prep for the CBC debate on Tuesday, and that it was incorporated into the K-Street story [as related by] James Carville and Paul Begala on the O-Blog.

The FOX story also states this:
Carville told FOX News at the sneak preview that the debate prep scene was utterly impromptu, ad-libbed and not scripted. He said he had no idea that Dean would use in the actual debate any of the lines from the fictional debate prep taped for a commercial television show.
This makes it seem like Carville was surprised that the line was used. Also, notice the addition of " from the fictional debate prep taped for a commercial television show." My guess would be that Carville didn't add that in there or at least said them in that way. I'm curious if there's a tape of the primary source here my guess would be that Carville, when asked if he knew Dean used the line, said something like "I have no idea". Could be speculation though.

And it also omits the fact that Carville actually likes the fact that Dean
used the line in the debate. From Carville on the O-blog:

"We offered the governor a few lines, just as we always did for President Clinton. He used one of them - and we hope he uses them all as the campaign progresses."

One more concerning item, though less again, from the FOX News article:
The day after the debate, the Dean campaign was asked whether the "Trent Lott" line said by Dean during the Congressional Black Caucus Institute debate was his original thinking. One of Dean's aides responded that his boss had offered it up as an off-the-cuff remark.

The aide's remark was printed in Washington newsletters and said to have been picked up by Carville and HBO's producers, who apparently sent word to the campaign to be cautious about claiming credit for something that they have on tape as an improvisational thought by Carville.
They don't know that the members of the Dean campaign that were asked about this were at campaign headquarters in Burlington and weren't around the K-Street taping -- they didn't know that this wasn't an "off-the-cuff remark." They [assumed] it was unpracticed because they had never heard it before.

Carville and HBO then let them know about the taping, and that was that. The tone of this, though, is that the Dean campaign was being dishonest about Dean's improvisational ability and that Carville was warning them, not that Carville was simply making them aware of something they did not know.

+ + +

Thanks, Jared. I agree. One reason, In my opinion, that Carville and Begala posted on the O-Blog was that they wanted to clarify the story before the show aired. At that point, FAUX was already running the story ad nauseam. To quote the President of FAUX News: "Bring 'em on" -- and please keep talking about Dean, Dean, Dean!


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.