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For The Zillionth Time, A Democrat Allows FOX News To Set The Agenda, Frame The Discussion And Bully Him Away From His Talking Points

Reported by Ellen - May 17, 2005

On Yesterday's Big Story (5/16/05), John Gibson opened a discussion with the following "fair and balanced" introduction: "So the Dean machine churning out another doozy. Over the weekend, the chairman of the DNC, Howard Dean, offending even members of his own party with comments about House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Howard Dean said this: I think Tom DeLay ought to go back to Houston where he can start serving his jail sentence down there. Right after that, Dean complained about the negative tone coming from the right wing of the Republican party."

From there, Gibson tossed "The Big Question" to Democratic strategist David Axelrod. "Is Howard Dean setting the wrong tone for the Democratic party?"

Axelrod started by saying he thought it was a regrettable remark. No Republican would ever offer such a concession, much less start off with it, but giving ground on FOX News seems to be the Democratic way. Axelrod continued by saying that there's no need to gild the lily on Tom DeLay's record of questionable ethics. As he started to enumerate them, Gibson interrupted. In fact, Gibson interrupted each time Axelrod tried to get into it.

The second time, Axelrod tried to bring up the fact that DeLay was cited three times by a bi-partisan ethics panel, Gibson said, "You're repeating it over and over. I get the point. (no limit on how many times he can harp on Dean's infraction, though.)

The third time Axelrod brought it up, Gibson interrupted again by saying, "Why would Howard Dean shift the focus to (himself)? I'm not running DeLay's picture right now. Howard Dean is the guy who's got the foot in his mouth chewing on his toes."

Instead of asking Gibson why they were questioning one possibly ill-chosen remark by Dean rather than a host of DeLay's questionable activities, Axelrod responded, "Well, you'd have to ask Chairman Dean that question. I'm not suggesting - as I said at the outset, I think it was a regrettable remark."

Comment: The only thing worse than watching FOX News spin the GOP party line is watching the Democrats' weak-kneed reaction. They don't even seem to realize what's happening, much less offer any well-crafted responses. It's not always the case but certainly it happens more often than not. Unfortunately, this was just another of many in a long line of notches on the FOX News belt of victories over Democrats.

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