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Howard Dean, Big Brother of the Independent Media
by Doug Schmitz
16 December 2003Howard

If Democratic presidential wannabe Howard Dean had his way, there would no longer be an independent media.

Those of us who truly cherish the First Amendment need to be thankful for such independent news and information sources as the Fox News Channel, Matt Drudge, the Washington Times, Newsmax.com, WorldNetDaily.com and CNSNews.com – literally. 

In short, if Democratic presidential wannabe Howard Dean had his way, there would no longer be an independent media: Those intellectually honest anchors and reporters who skillfully and intelligently provide the anecdote to the Far Left’s anti-American propaganda ware that’s currently being peddled by angry Democrats like Dean.

Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine.com, in his Dec. 8 blog, said of Dean’s ‘Big Brother’ attitude toward the independent media that Dean apparently sees them as a threat to his partisan agenda: “[Howard Dean’s] going to meddle in news.  He’s going to decree who can and can’t own media outlets.  He’s going to break up companies for sport and political pandering.  He’s not concerned with the First Amendment.  He’s not concerned with the realities of the media business today (if you don’t allow some level of consolidation, then weak outlets will die),” Jarvis said. 

“Yes, I work in big media.  But I don’t own it.  I just work in it because I love news and media and I cherish the lack of government involvement in media in this country; I cherish our freedom of speech; I am a First Amendment absolutist.  I do not want to see government meddling in our free speech.  This isn’t Europe, Howard…”

At a recent sit-down with “Hardball” host Chris Matthews (who’s MSNBC’s one-hour show should be renamed “Softball”), the former Vermont governor was asked point blank if he would break up Fox News if he were president. 

Without hesitation, Dean showed his true colors – and the driving element that has defined his candidacy, by replying: “On ideological grounds, absolutely yes,” which in itself is very telling.

Surprisingly, Matthews actually threw a hardball to Dean, albeit a leading question, when he later asked: “Seriously.  As a public policy, would you bring industrial policy to bear and break up these conglomerations of power?”

But sensing he may have overstated, Dean immediately backpedaled: “I don’t want to answer whether I would break up Fox or not.  What I’m going to do is appoint people to the FCC that believe democracy depends on getting information from all portions of the political spectrum, not just one.”

Transition: Much like Bill Clinton did with the IRS, Dean would presumably place KGB-style political operatives within the FCC, who would not only agree with his Far Left ideology, but would also equally hate the very idea of Americans freely choosing the independent media as a valuable news venue.  And, much like Baghdad’s al-Jazeera TV, Dean’s ‘Big Brother’ media censorship would probably turn into an Orwellian ruse that would only espouse his Machiavellian dogma.

In fact, at this very moment, there are political operatives at work within the Dean camp, covertly scouring Web sites, newspapers, news networks and talk radio for the slightest morsel of criticism against their candidate, the seemingly invisible Howard Dean.  They also have a Dean media team, dubbed “Dean TV,” who presumably spins his political record and frantic misquotes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

These anti-Bush insurgents scheme, organize, strategize and subsequently blog every nuance of anything that even remotely disparages Dean. 

In effect, it has become a disease with them.  Labeling all Dean detractors as “trolls” (i.e., the toxic and anarchical Far Left Web site, Democraticunderground.com, that recently posted a picture of a burning American flag), the Dean faithful have been on a mean-spirited crusade to put their man in the White House – no matter how many innocent victims they have to smear and mischaracterize to try to accomplish their goal.  In fact, a recent blog inveighed about one conservative columnist: “We need to go after this guy!”   

Unequivocally, these Dean promoters have been sent on a mission: Bolstering Dean’s image – and ego.  And, like the rest of the Democratic presidential candidates, Dean continually escapes the fleeting radar of leftist media scrutiny (i.e., the doting Newsweek and Time cover stories).  So in an ongoing effort to discredit President Bush through inane conspiracy theories such as Dean’s outlandish and unfounded claim about Bush and the Saudis, Dean’s media insurgents are working overtime in an anti-independent media witch hunt to ferret out all Dean cynics.

Among those currently on Dean’s political hit list are Fox News, Matt Drudge, WorldNetDaily.com, the Washington Times, CNSNews.com and Newsmax.com.  The only reason CNN, MSNBC, Dan Rather and the New York Times didn’t make the cut is because they’ve never even tried to challenge Dean’s political and ideological positions – nor his calumny. 

In essence, if Dean’s cult followers seriously believed their candidate was the best choice for the White House, they wouldn’t feel so threatened by the independent media, nor would they feel the need to extinguish every conceivable dissenting voice that ever tried to display the infinitesimal inkling of disapproval toward Dean.

As Fox News’ Sean Hannity pointed out on his Dec. 8 radio broadcast, in a conversation with former Clinton operative Dick Morris about Hillary Clinton’s own political pandering: “Most people don’t live their lives in such a conniving, calculated way.”

But this is the poison Dean and his people have strategically chosen to fuel their rage: Venomous hatred for President George W. Bush and anyone who would dare cross Dean or question his motives.  From fellow political rival John Kerry’s use of vulgarity in a recent Rolling Stone article, to Hillary’s treasonous comments to our troops in Iraq, the Democrats are showing their desperation and complete lack of self-control.  And, as usual, the left-wing media have routinely ignored their mordantly childish tirades. 

It’s either the result of the leftist media tacitly throwing their collective support toward Dean by ignoring his inconsistencies or distortions – or their fear of a public backlash if they actually did their jobs by exposing his political fraudulence.  But, judging by the media darling they have made of Dean, it’s probably both.  After all, they have been given every opportunity to investigate Dean’s acid comments mercilessly leveled at Bush, as well as recent revelations of Dean’s secret files (he has yet to fully explain).


Now, it seems, Dean, having his own media meltdowns, wants to stop anyone in the independent media who even dares to confront him.  While his followers try to plug the holes of a once leaking ship, Dean may have gotten those holes plugged up.  On Dec. 8, Al Gore, who’s made his own phony claims against the so-called right-wing media, officially endorsed Dean’s candidacy.  But according to the Associated Press, Gore was already holding secret sessions with Dean – and plotting this coup for months. 

No doubt, Gore, who’s probably endorsing Dean because he’s wanted to get behind the angriest, anti-Bush Democratic candidate in the race, on the surface, may appear to be a partisan shot in the arm for Dean.  It would also definitely give the left-wing media another reason to gush over Gore, who’s obviously still bitter over his highly unsuccessful and humiliating attempt to illegally steal the 2000 election from Bush.

What’s more, Gore’s endorsement also is more about sticking it to Bush than it is about backing the most anti-Bush candidate.  But, again, if Dean were really that confident about winning the Democratic nomination, he certainly wouldn’t need the likes of Gore. 

Besides, Dean already has a surplus of Bush hatred and rage to fuel the left-wing media’s ‘Hate-Bush’ party support system.  As for Gore, it’s not only about his Bush hatred; it’s also about his Clinton-style, narcissistic need to return to the spotlight.  This is Gore’s one last chance to once again show an adoring media that he’s still mad as heck and he’s not going to take it anymore.  It also signals a slap in the Clintons’ face, which may eventually hurt Dean in the process.

After all, in 2000, Gore used Joe Lieberman to enhance his image; now Gore’s using Dean’s hero-like popularity and overwhelmingly out-of-control rage toward Bush to regain Democratic Party status and pull it even further to the Far Left.  In the meantime, the Far Left and its media allies are just enjoying this next wave of Clinton era nostalgia.

In fact, in his Dec. 9 Opinionjournal.com column, James Tartanto referred to the Dean-Gore political pandering ploy as “the Internet bubble of politics.”

“The same get-rich-quick dynamic is at work.  Just as the dot-com boom was supposed to create immense wealth out of electrons, the Dean campaign promises to magically transform blind rage into political power.  The Dean campaign, as we noted yesterday, is populated by 20-somethings who are smart and technically savvy but also professionally inexperienced and emotionally immature.”

As a result, Gore just may turn out to be Dean’s biggest liability.  For example, Georgia Democratic Sen. Zell Miller, author of the bestseller, A National Party No More – and perhaps the most honest Democrat in his party, told Sean Hannity on Dec. 10 that the Gore endorsement is a classic example of two guys using each other for political gain.   But will the leftist media take notice – and stop protecting Dean from a possible political fallout? 


The ultimate underbelly that’s fueling this intense and irrational Bush hatred in Dean and his constituents is Moveon.org.  This anti-Republican, Far Left grassroots Internet group was originally conceived out of a groundswell of protest against the much-deserved – and long-awaited – impeachment of Bill Clinton. 

The concept of Moveon.org’s unprecedented Internet media campaign was to get people to supposedly “move on” and forget all about Clinton’s numerous crimes and misdemeanors he committed (while his left-wing media confidants looked the other way). 

Only now they have since transferred that same hatred toward the alleged enemies of Clinton to George W. Bush.  Ironically, despite Clinton lying under oath and cheating on Hillary (among other unspeakable acts of lawlessness), Moveon.org members wish to eventually replace Bush with the likes of Dean.  Currently, Moveon.org is a veritable, caustic rage machine – the likes of which we’ve never seen in American politics. 

The question now is: Will this revitalized insurgency, bent on destroying Bush, as well as traditional American values, be enough to give Dean the Democratic nomination?  It’s certainly not a question of whether the leftist media’s behind him because, clearly, they are.  Throughout Dean’s monstrous tirades and tantrums, he’s still the apple of their eye.

But unlike Dean, Bush handles himself well under media scrutiny, although the leftist media have clearly shown their collective disdain for Bush.  Dean, on the other hand, gets angry if the leftist media aren’t coddling him, 24/7 (as they habitually do).  But as a typical leftist, Dean cannot handle being challenged with tough questions – especially if his friends in the Far Left media aren’t around to rescue him from honest media scrutiny.

While the Far Left media are the ones who have been essentially campaigning for Dean’s presidential nomination and have never subjected him to any serious questioning, Dean is buckling under the weight of being further exposed as a man of little substance.  That’s why Dean goes on CNN, MSNBC, as well as the left-wing Sunday morning “news” shows that cravenly favor Democrats.  They never confront Dean (or any other Democrat) on his blatant distortions regarding Iraq, his unfounded statements about Bush, or his flippant comments that eventually offend his would-be core constituents.

As previously stated, if Dean and his Far Left followers didn’t feel so threatened by the independent media, they wouldn’t even bother complaining about them.  By all accounts, just the fact that Dean admitted to Matthews of his desire to dismantle Fox News (and other independent media outlets), it seemed to reveal his political intentions.  In Dean’s world, his fantasy administration would probably decide what gets said, printed and legislated.  It is reminiscent of the Samidzat press of the former Soviet Union that strong-armed its people to lie about their country before Ronald Reagan heroically ended the Cold War.


Despite Dean making himself out to be a champion of democracy, he and his Far Left sycophants have been the ones railing against the freedoms of speech, the press, expression and religion in a petty, partisan effort to regain political power.    

At a recent rally in Boston, Dean, who’s falsely accused Bush of questioning the Democrats’ patriotism, proclaimed: “This flag does not belong to Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell, John Ashcroft, Tom DeLay and Dick Cheney.  This flag belongs to us and we want our country,” adding that, “The extreme right wing has shown nothing but contempt for democracy.”

Our entire democracy hinges on the free and open exchange of ideas.  Without that, it’s nothing more than Communism, with a hint of fascism.  This is why Dean and the rest of his leftist friends have always had a problem with Fox News and other independent news outlets, which dare to confront both Republicans and Democrats. 

While CNN never strays from its typical leftist format, Fox News presents BOTH sides of the issues, employing both liberals and conservatives.  Right now, about the only conservative on CNN is Tucker Carlson, while MSNBC has Joe Scarborough and fellow guest conservatives Peggy Noonan and Steve Malzberg.  You certainly don’t see Dean going on their respective conservative shows to be challenged for his false statements.

If the only way Dean can be president is to have thousands of anti-Bush insurgents work around the clock, threatening, maligning, slandering and staving off his critics, than Dean doesn’t deserve the privilege of holding the most sacred political office in the land.  But, like Clinton once did, Dean would probably use the FBI, CIA and IRS, as well as the already doting left-wing media, to go after his perceived political enemies.

Invariably, Dean and his anti-Bush crowd want the freedom and privileges of free speech and press but are unwilling to afford it to the rest of us if we say something they don’t want to hear.  Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Dean goes running to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and CNN’s leftist reporters and anchors.  Dean knows he won’t get challenged on any of his contradictory statements and misquotes (e.g., the Confederate flag gaffe, etc.).

Moreover, it’s these same leftist reporters who also don’t really want to know what’s in Dean’s secret files.  But if Dean were a Republican, the leftist media would be screaming and demanding to know its contents.  What is Dean hiding in those sealed documents that he doesn’t want anyone to know about?  And why aren’t his left-wing media pals investigating it?  Dean claimed that he didn’t want anything to come out that might be embarrassing, having previously admitted to presidential ambitions before he had them sealed.  This actually implies that Dean does have something to hide.

Could it be that there is damaging information in his dossier that could possibly derail his 2004 presidential campaign?  Again, Dean has been the one accusing Bush of secrecy, claiming that he would show us his files if Bush showed us his.  You’re too late, Howard.  Unbeknownst to many, Bush’s files have been public knowledge because Bush has nothing to hide.  On the other hand, it is Dean who apparently has something to hide.  But, given the fawning front cover articles by fellow hypocrites, Newsweek and Time magazines, don’t expect them to gut Dean like a fish they way they did Rush Limbaugh.


Another topic the leftist media are ignoring is Dean’s endless conspiracy theories.  In fact, National Review’s Byron York, in his Dec. 11 column observed that Dean’s still propagating his Saudi conspiracy theory about Bush knowing about the Sept. 11 attacks. 

Even though Dean admitted it couldn’t be proven, he wouldn’t disavow his false claim.  Dean also took a cheap shot at Fox News, who invited him on to discuss his platform, York wrote: “Defending himself, Dean said that he made the statement because, 'I was asked on Fox ‘Fair and Balanced’ News that – I was asked why I thought the president was withholding information, I think it was, or 9/11 or something like that.'”

Dean initially brought up his conspiracy theory on NPR and talked about it on Fox News – but only when host Chris Wallace confronted him on his statements.  York wrote that in no venue has Dean actually explained why he would suggest – and then deny that he believed – that Bush knew beforehand. 

Yet no one in the leftist media have investigated the Clinton Administration’s documented missteps that led to the Sept. 11 atrocities.

In the recent debate, hosted by the beleaguered Ted Koppel, Dean also waffled on a question about whether it would ever be proper for a president to lie to the American people:  “Under what circumstances?” Dean asked, apparently not getting the meaning of the question.  “I can’t think of any circumstances,” he said, adding in typical Clinton-style rhetoric, “with the possible exception of some sort of national-security matter that would – if some piece of information were put out that would endanger American lives or some circumstance under which peoples’ lives would be in danger or something of that sort.”

That’s strange: Dean and his leftist media buddies have been accusing Bush of doing exactly the same thing Dean’s now purporting.  And why would Dean ask about the circumstances for lying, unless he were planning to lie like Clinton did throughout his presidency?

In addition, toward the end of the debate, Dean skewered his reply to Koppel’s question about whether U.S. troops should remain in Iraq.  Also oblivious to what the original question was, Dean seemed flummoxed and actually referred to appointing “a governing council for Vermont” when Dean should have said Iraq.

(York made an interesting observation regarding how Koppel chose to start his questions.  Koppel asked for a show of hands as to how many would vote for Dean.  Of course, Dean was the only one who raised his hand.  But since these Democratic candidates having been acting like children, they might as well be treated like children.)

Ironically, at the end of Dean’s biggest incoherent blunder of the evening, not even the liberal Ted Koppel would bail him out, although the leftist contingency in the press has so far managed to ignore Dean’s classic whoppers and blunders.


Undoubtedly, if Dean could choose a dream media team, it would mainly consist of CNN and Dan Rather – although everyone from Katie Couric to Peter Jennings would qualify. 

Just this past April, CNN’s top news executive, Jordan Eason, openly admitted in a Times op-ed that CNN covered up over 12 years of Iraqi atrocities for the sole purpose of securing its Baghdad news bureau.  While Saddam and his murderous thugs were busy raping, torturing, imprisoning – and Uday Hussein was throwing people into a lion’s den to be eaten alive, CNN’s producers, editors and correspondents knew all about these acts of barbarism, yet chose not to speak up – or out – about them. 

In effect, CNN was doing Saddam’s bidding by censoring its reports – and never once looked back.  It makes you wonder if CNN knew about the estimated 61,000 people killed in Baghdad (as recently reported by the Associated Press, with human rights experts now saying the number could be closer to 500,000).  As an essential part of Dean’s ultimate dream media team of leftist propaganda, CNN would feel right at home. 

What’s more, no Dean media dream team would be complete without the leftist slant of CBS News’ top spin-doctor, Dan Rather.  When Rather jumped at the chance to interview Hussein (at Hussein’s request, which is disturbing in itself), it was clear that Rather preferred to interview murderous despots over Republican presidents.  Despite his several nauseatingly doting interviews with Bill Clinton in the 1990s, to date, Rather still has yet to interview President George W. Bush.

(In a 1988 interview with Bush I – of whom Hussein once tried to have assassinated, Rather stormed off the set in the middle of the interview because Bush I allegedly wasn’t answering Rather’s peppered questions.  It certainly shows where Rather stands politically.) 

In 1990, Hussein specifically requested Rather because of their first softball interview.  Hussein knew Rather would go easy on him.  In fact, at the close of Rather’s February interview with Hussein – where he routinely referred to Hussein as “Mr. President,” and kept apologizing to him, Rather actually wondered when he was going to get to see Hussein again.  So Rather should also feel right at home with CNN on Dean’s media dream team.

While Dean has also never publicly denounced CNN’s actions (or inactions), or Dan Rather’s softball interview with Hussein, Dean continues to enjoy unlimited access, as well as free passes, from the leftist media establishment.   


In the long run, Dean and Gore truly embody the Far Left, Tartanto added: “…It seems unrealistic to think of Dean’s anger as being fungible.  As he said at a September debate, “We need to remember that the enemy here is George Bush, not each other” – and not, one might add, Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein.  If Dean has never expressed much anger at his country’s enemies, maybe it’s because he isn’t that angry at them.”

Moreover, Gore, who officially announced his endorsement at one of Dean’s Iowa pep rallies, actually claimed that liberating over 25 million Iraqis from Saddam Hussein’s murderous regime was a “catastrophic mistake.”  As Tartanto asked: “How many more Iraqis would [Gore] like Saddam to have murdered?”

But Gore, who also claimed to have gained experience in foreign policy in the Clinton Administration, never lifted a finger to liberate those 25 million Iraqis – nor the one million Rwandans that his administration allowed to be slaughtered. 

Truly, the mere mention of Howard Dean as a possible commander-in-chief in 2005 is an extremely terrifying thought to those of us who value the freedoms of speech and press, and a strong national security, coupled with a presidentially-supported military.  And the leftist media have already made its decision on where it stands.

Leftist Democrats like Dean, who are relentlessly protected by a willing media, are working against the interests of America.  By not supporting a strong military defense and supporting the war on terrorism, Dean and other Far Left Democrats, are giving the terrorists an open invitation to harm this country when they constantly rail against it – and further spilling the blood of our brave U.S. troops as these partisan Democrats rail against Bush, their commander-in-chief.

But where has the lockstep leftist media been in response to this kind of treason?

The bottom line is, with the economy turning around (and the Dow closing at over 10,000 on Dec. 11), and our troops capturing more pro-Saddam holdovers, these Far Left Democrats are losing their anti-Bush talking points.

Moreover, with an appeasing media, Dean and the rest of the Democrats needn’t worry about getting their message out because that’s never been the problem.  After all, liberal radio has always been here: It’s called NPR. 

As for Gore and his liberal TV network, the Democrats already own CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC and PBS. 

In addition, liberals also control the major dailies and magazines: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, tn Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, USA Today, Denver Post, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, Seattle Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Des Moines Register, Time, Newsweek, Nation, Washington Monthly, the American Prospect, etc.

Since the Democrats have its willing accomplices in the mainstream media, what more do they want? 

Read this article by Nedra Pickler, an intellectually honest AP writer, on how Dean and other Democratic candidates are distorting the facts concerning the Bush Administration, just to score political points.

Doug Schmitz is a conse
rvative columnist who regularly contributes to Etherzone.com, BushCountry.org and has been a guest columnist for Accuracy in Media (www.aim.org.). © Doug Schmitz.  All Rights Reserved.

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