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Mara Liasson gives 'em hell for Howard

Reported by Chrish - June 14, 2005

Mara Liasson, the lone progressive on the "All-star" panel on Special Report 6/13/05, was in rare form as she defended Howard Dean against conservatives Fred Barnes, Bill Sammon, and Brit Hume.

Dr. Dean was mocked and dismissed by VP Dick Cheney in an "exclusive interview" (staged propaganda opportunity) with Fox's Sean Hannity, saying "Howard Dean's over the top. I've never been able to understand his appeal. Maybe his mother loved him but I've never met anybody who does. He's never won anything, as best I can tell, he ran for president and lost all the primaries, and now the Democrats have seen fit to make him their national chairman. (You can hear Hannity say "Yeah.") So far, I think he's probably helped us more than he has them."

Comment: I must say, even though his rabid partisanship is well-known, as an American I am offended by the Vice-president's continued characterization of "us" and "them". The campaign is over and he's supposed to be in office for ALL of us. Having him say "us" in an exclusive interview with an equally rabid right-wing Republican like Hannity certainly reinforces Dr. Dean's point:

Next was a clip of Howard Dean, speaking at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition in Chicago Sunday, where he said "My view is that Fox News is a propaganda outlet for the Republican party, amd I don't comment on Fox News."

Brit attempted to lighten? confuse? dismiss? the comment with "Well, to be exact, he wasn't being asked to comment on Fox News, he was being asked to comment on what Cheney said. Having commented on Fox News, he then said he doesn't comment on Fox News. But there he is again, always interesting, always colorful, and always newsworthy."

Comment: Dismissing the propaganda charge...typical 'ignore it and it will go away' tactic.

Mara began with saying that Cheney was wrong; Dean won the governorship of Vermont many times and as for nobody loving him, there are a lot of people in the Democrat party who still do. Mara said she has spoken with a lot of state party chairs, including people in "red states", who are very happy with Dean's bringing money and field staff in. They're not as upset as Washington Dems are.

Hume addresses Bill Sammon, asking him if perhaps the Washington Dems who never much liked Dean anyway, may be wrong and if Dean's "nuts and bolts" that Mara spoke about would outweigh his occassional politically incorrect (my term) comment.

Sammon says he thinks they're right in that Dean's stated objective was to expand the party base, to "win over Bubba", and yet he (Dean) "has a knack for alienating the majority. First he says 'I hate Republicans', and more Republicans voted last year than Dems, then he speaks with contempt for white Christians; ok, 2/3 of the country is white and Christian, the majority of the Democratic party is white and Christian, and a bigger majority of the Republican party. And finally today he says, y'know this is silly but he says y'know, Fox News Channel, Fox News Channel, more people watch Fox News than the other, y'know why does he keep insulting the majority? That's not a way to expand your voter base."

Comment: No facts or numbers on Fox viewership. Most people , in fact, don't watch Fox but he knows the ministry must be defended. And Dean never spoke with contempt for white Christians; for crying out loud, he IS a white Christian!

Fred Barnes says nobody in their right mind thinks Dean is helping the party, reinforcing Sammons talking points. He adds that Dean seems to think it's about him, not the party. "Ken Mehlman's at least trying." He scribbles something furiously. lol

Mara says Dean could have been more artful in his comments which his supporters will readily admit.

Barnes says if Dean needs Mara to interpret for him he's in trouble.

Sammons says Dean has reached critical mass and he has become the issue. He has become a distraction and that can't help the Democrats.

Brit asks Mara if the DC Dems dislike Dean but the state chairs, who elected him, approve, is Dean "golden"? She wants to address the question, Is the Democratic party souring on him? Is there a consensus that he's a liability? There is NOT.

Hume brings up the fund-raising issue: Republicans have some $44million in the bank and Dean has raised about $1million a week; the DNC has about $18million in hte bank. She says the $18m should be compared to what Terry McCaulliffe had banked two years ago (in a non-election year) and Dean holds up favorably.

Fred Barnes got the last word, saying the subject of people who didn't like Dean and who still don't like Dean was too easily dismissed. It's up to Dean to win these people over in the Dem party and unite the party and he's not doing that.

Comment: Dean forgot to mention that Fox News is also an anti-Democrat party propaganda outlet. Ending the segment with a negative characterization of Dean and the work he is doing, after a spirited defense by Ms, Liasson, was typical Fox, all together now, propaganda.

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