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Bashing Howard Dean: FOX News' All-Purpose Deflector of Bush Criticism

Reported by Ellen - June 30, 2005

Rich Lowry, subbing for Hannity last night, introduced a segment by talking about Howard Dean. Lowry said, "Here comes Howard Dean. The Democratic Chairman is upset, of course, about President Bush's speech last night. But has he already gone too far?" (Comment: Does Dean ever NOT go too far on FOX News? It shouldn't be news anymore.) While Lowry spoke, "Screaming Mad" appeared on the screen. It turned out Howard Dean wasn't in the next segment at all. Alan Colmes simply read one of his quotes. Almost the entire segment was devoted to an interview with Dick "Suck My Toes" Morris who was very critical of George Bush's speech the night before.

I rewound my DVD player three times to make sure I hadn't missed a segment that was really about Howard Dean. I hadn't. Dean's latest "too far" statement, as read by Colmes, was:

Instead of offering the American people a clear path to success in Iraq, President Bush returned to the same defensive and discredited rhetoric. The American people, and most especially our troops, who are serving with great courage, deserve better than discredited, shopworn political rhetoric from their Commander-in-Chief.

Doesn't sound so over-the-top to me, especially in comparison with Rove's statement about liberals wanting to offer terrorists therapy and understanding but on FOX, no criticism of liberals is EVER over-the-top.

Colmes also played a great clip of Nancy Pelosi saying,

The speech that the president made could have been made one year ago, two years ago. It really wasn't anything new. And what we were looking for last night was really the president to take the initiative for a strategy for success with specific plans on what the milestones were that we had to achieve before our troops could come home safely.

Then it was time for Mr. Toesucker. Iraq was going just fine, in his view, but he called Bush's speech "rotten." He said Bush's dismal poll numbers mean he is in big trouble and that he is "just not trying." In Morris' view, Bush "forgot to speak female" in his speech, meaning he did nothing to speak to Security Mom's but kept talking "male macho."

Pretty strong stuff for the Bush-Is-Our-Hero Network. There wasn't even anyone to balance Morris' critique with a Bush defense, which is what I have come to expect from FOX. No wonder Lowry led with a Dean bash.

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