Skip to main content

Reporters can and do agree to speak with sources anonymously, or on "background". However, it's an arrangement that must be negotiated by reporter and source.

But the normal rules apparently don't apply to Kerry's campaign spokeswoman, Stephanie Cutter. In her world, she dictates to reporters how they should handle the information she disseminates.

Sen. John F. Kerry's campaign spokeswoman is deeply unhappy with the New York Times' chief political  correspondent for quoting her criticism of Howard Dean.  

The reason? The Massachusetts Democrat's team made the attack in an e-mail to reporters that contained a note asking that it be treated on "background," attributed only to a Democratic campaign. Adam Nagourney refused to go along.  

After the capture of Saddam Hussein, Kerry campaign press secretary Stephanie Cutter listed past Dean statements in arguing that his opposition to the war in Iraq was "politically driven." Nagourney, ignoring the not-for-attribution request, wrote that this reflected campaign aides' concern that they not be viewed as politically exploiting a foreign policy victory.  

Nagourney, who previously outed "background" e-mails from aides to Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.), John Edwards (N.C.) and Bob Graham (Fla.), said: "If someone wants to go off the record, call me up, and I'll be glad to negotiate. But you cannot do it preemptively. I will not let someone attack someone else anonymously, which is what the Kerry campaign is trying to do."

Kudos to Nagourney, who I hope will continue this policy when the GOP attack machine attempts the same tactic. Other reporters should follow suit as well. And using anonymity to attack is, in itself, a story (like, say, the Plame affair). Good journalists should not allow themselves to be used as tools for attack or disinformation. If the campaigns want to spread that shit, let them do it on the record or they should be outed.

As for Cutter, she is a moron to the nth degree:

Cutter, who sent Nagourney  angry e-mail messages, says her staff is trying to provide a "truth squad" about Dean. "This campaign has no problem going on the record about the facts in this race,"  Cutter said. "We've never had a problem with ground rules before." Meanwhile, the Kerry camp has sent another "background" e-mail titled "An Illustrated Guide to Howard Dean's Foreign Policy." Nagourney didn't get one.  
If Cutter had no problem going on the record, then she wouldn't try to hide her attack emails behind a screen of anonimity. She could have the Kerry campaign put up a "truth squad" website to spread whatever message they think voters should hear. But fact is the Kerry campaign wanted to exploit the Saddam capture politically, while pretending not to play politics.

Nagourney did the right thing, calling Cutter on her hubris, and in response, she attacks him and turns him into an enemy. And, she looks like an idiot in the Washington Post.

Great job, Stephanie.

Update: The Boston Phoenix seems to have broken the story here, with a Nagourney follow up here.

Again, I do hope Nagourney plays by the same rules when the GOP spams his inbox with anti-Dean or Clark messages.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 02:46 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tipping Point (3.66)
    So, Kos, is it official? Are we abandoning the idea that all the candidates are morally qualified to be President and that each deserves our support?

    All of this, really, is just too much of the politics of smear and negativity. This is why we need to rid Washington of all those cockroaches and get back to work.

    "So instead of getting to heaven, at last-- I'm going, all along."

    by Marshall on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 02:49:49 PM PST

    •  Re: Tipping Point (none)
      We? I certainly haven't. But Kerry almost certainly has in the name of political expediency, and Lieberman has done so for months.

      Eyes on the prize, folks.

    •  Re: Tipping Point (none)
      I don't know about you guys, but I abandoned that idea a long time ago.
    •  Re: Tipping Point (none)
      I wouldn't worry about what to do if Kerry gets the nomination-- he won't.  Anyone OK with Dean and Clark can be safely ABB without airing their qualms about other candidates.

      What the other candidates don't get is that they're fighting a tar baby by attacking the Dean who was Dean six months ago.  Questioning his leadership abilities is a no-win for those who have been "out-led" by Dean for the past two quarters.  

      If Dean can't lead, what about the bozos who trail him?

      There's something happenin' and ya don't know what it is-- do you, Mr. Jones?

      by Jason on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 05:02:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter - smackdown (4.00)
    I'm glad that the Kerry (Anti-Dean?) Campaign is focusing so much of their resources where they  should go- by getting Tough-D into the pages of NYT on a daily basis.

    She must be covered in flop sweat.

    Bush/Cheney - Four More Wars!

    by joojooluv on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 02:50:47 PM PST

  •  journalists should allow themselves to be used? (none)
    Good journalists should allow themselves to be used as tools for attack or disinformation.

    ???!!!

  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter -- getting a deserved smack.. (4.00)
    Better yet, this story shows up on Drudge Report. Take that, Kerry.

    Dean's Blog -- because he's talking fricking sense.
    Bush: not compassionate, not conservative.

    by maxomai on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 02:52:30 PM PST

  •  Stephanie Cutter -- sick & sad. (none)
    sick & sad.
  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (2.50)
    Obligatory Kerry content ... "kerry is still a fu*kwad"

    OK ... now, sorry for this, but didn't know where else to put it so others could see it...


    Iraqi town takes prides in battling U.S. army

    By Suleiman al-Khalidi

    FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) - Empty Coca Cola and Gatorade containers and Nabisco cracker packaging litters the ground near the rail station in this Sunni Muslim stronghold a day after guerrillas hit a train full of U.S. army provisions.

    ``The looters left nothing, even the carriages were torn apart,'' said Ahmad Omar, 23, near the scene of the latest attack on the train that ferries goods to U.S. troops at a base near the city, a focus of resistance to their occupation of Iraq.

    Saturday's capture of toppled ruler Saddam Hussein has done nothing here so far to halt the attacks on U.S. forces that many in the city cheer.

    On the contrary, some residents say, it will only strengthen the resolve of the young Muslim warriors they call the Mujahideen.

    ``The resistance will intensify because we are not fighting to defend Saddam ... We are fighting to defend Islam, our religion,'' said Yousef Kubaisi, a former army officer.

    In Tuesday's attack, the U.S. army said insurgents attacked the train with rocket propelled grenades, burning three carriages and blowing two off the track. Helicopters were used to disperse looters, the army said.

  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (none)
    Hey, this is a tactic the WH press corps should emulate.

    Just saying.

    •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (none)
      Yeah, I'm really sick of statements made in press briefings being attributed to a "senior administration official".  This is not a valid ground rule, and a press corps that was worth the First Amendment wouldn't have to think twice before disobeying it.  What's McClellan going to do about it?  Throw them out?  Now that would be a story!
      •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (none)
        This administration has about a few different factions going in different direction and they all leak like sieves.

        Well, I guess we'll wait for the memoirs.  Or Woodward's book, where Powell and Armitage (off-the-record, of course) will leak their doubts regarding the Pentagon's planning for the post-war and the WH's diplomacy.

      •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (none)
        What would McClellan do? Put the reporter in the back of the press room. Never call on them when it comes time for questions. Which then leads their news organization to put someone else on the beat in their place. And it's not a story...reporters get frozen out all the time.

        By the way, "senior administration official" is a perfectly acceptable way of describing an anonymous source within the Administration.

  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter -- getting a deserved smackdo (4.00)
    Isn't it a little pathetic that we have Democrats like Kerry and Lieberman making the case for Bush in better fashion than Bush himself can?
  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (3.66)
    Blech.

    I started out the primary season closely looking at John Kerry, a guy whose record I admire, and thinking that he would make a great candidate.

    Man, do those days seem like ancient history now.

    •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (none)
      Join the club.

      Joe Trippi is a Jedi.

      by Jumbo on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 04:23:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (none)
      Kerry's record of "voting right" is not one of "having a good idea and seeing it to fruition".

      Laurel rider supreme.

      But I'm biased... the Kerry boys have always irked me on a visceral and probably unfair level.  Maybe there is something to my intuitions after all!

    •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (none)
      Aye.  Me, too.

      There's something really... well, honestly, I can't figure out if the right word is "tragic" or "pathetic" to describe what's happened to his campaign.

      It's one of the weirder things I've seen in politics.

      •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (none)
        My vote goes for pathetic.  

        Kerry is such a pompous fool.  When I first saw him in the debates he impressed me with his knowledge.  But, by the end he had turned me off because he went negative and started criticizing Dean.  I could have been a Kerry supporter, but he blew me off with his negative attacks.  I'm not sure how he thinks these attacks gain him anything.  

  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (4.00)
    The ugly death throes of a horrible campaign.

    Put your money where your mouth is: Give $100 to the Democratic presidential nominee (whoever that may be.)

    by aleand on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 03:01:15 PM PST

  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter -- getting a deserved smackdo (3.33)
    I'm starting to get pretty pissed at the Dems. I'm a staunch anyone but Bush (and Lieberman) person, I like many, and dislike a few, aspects of all of the candidates (except Lieberman who I dislike a lot and like very little).
     Basically, I only care about who has the best chance of beating Bush. Sometimes I think a trained monkey could do it, but most of the time I think its going to take a well run campaign. So because of this I tend to think Dean has the best chances since he has clearly built up a very innovative campaign structure.
     Apparently, the other candidates also see this and are now trying to drag him down. It's the classic circular firing squad crap that they should all be well aware of. I really don't understand why they are sinking to this level. It demeans them and it's only going to hurt whoever ends up being the Dem's final candidate, it will especially hurt Dean if he ends up as that candidate.
     I'm not saying they shouldn't criticize each other at all, but godamn show so decency! These meanspirited vindictive smear campaign tactics need to stop, it only helps the GOP.
    •  Re: Stephanie Cutter -- getting a deserved smackdo (3.60)
      You know, I am beginning to see this as a real boost for Dean.  Kerry, Gep, Lieberman - all of them just don't seem to 'get' who their constituency is.  I believe most Demos say the Saddam news and issued a big `So what?'  All of the talk shows were about how this will affect Dean.  Hogwash.  Lieberman was attacking Dean more than Prancer, who actually sounded cautious.  Throw in the timing of the attack ad, which Trippi seems to be turning to his advantage and you begin to see a pattern.

      The `Circular Firing Squad' seems to remind me of a scene in "Total Recall".  It is towards the end when Ahnold is in the Martian Pyramid and has a holographic watch which produces a duplicate image of himself.  In one seen he uses it to get a few of the attackers to kill themselves.  These guys seem to be firing into a holographic image of Dean and wounding each other in the process.

      GWB - "All bully; no pulpit" - Wes Clark; Common Sense - Thomas Paine, 1776 - Howard Dean, 2003

      by RichM on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 03:37:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re: Stephanie Cutter -- getting a deserved smackdo (4.00)
        These guys seem to be firing into a holographic image of Dean and wounding each other in the process.

        Dean is the holographic image. Standing in front of a crowd of a half a million people. That's who they end up shooting at.  And we don't appreciate getting shot at. [e.g. I turned from "wait-and-see" to "seek-and-destroy" on Kerry when he said, "Howard Dean's opposition to the war was wrong," which I translated to: "Jumbo, your opposition to the war was wrong" and from there to "Millions of people the world over, your oppostion to the war was wrong" which, even if it's true is not what I want to hear from a guy who wants my vote.]

        Their problem is that they think the way to bring us into their camp is to kill Dean. But this is like going up to a beautiful woman at a party and trying to seduce her by explaining what an asshole her boyfriend is. Most Deanies, especially old-school, 2002 type Deanies, have had themselves nice and mentally prepared to jump ship and get in bed with a Kerry or a Gephardt. But constantly being lectured to about how awful Dean is is not going to make me want to wave a Kerry or Gephardt sign. That's what they don't get. Or they do get it and the just desperately want to spread lies to the uninformed and depress voter turnout so they have  a chance of squeaking by Dean. I hope they're just idiots and not cynical fuckwads but the jury's still out.

        Joe Trippi is a Jedi.

        by Jumbo on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 04:37:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re: Stephanie Cutter -- getting a deserved smackdo (3.50)
          I hope they're just idiots and not cynical fuckwads but the jury's still out.

          Nope to the first, yes to the second...

          Gep, Kerry and Edwards were being doubly cynical when they voted to allow Junior to have his little Iraq adventure.  Not only did they avoid being "anti-war" and "pro-Hussein" (a la SCLM), they knew that Georgie and company would find a way to screw the pooch AGAIN, boosting their own presidential hopes.  Hell, I knew that.  They were as into spending lives and treasure for political advantage as Shrub.

          And now they're pissed that some small-state governor is redesigning their posteriors by being as honest and forthright as they should have been.

          I exempted Lieberman from this scenario; he has other problems entirely...

          I used to be disgusted, now I'm just amused.

          by wozzle on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 05:15:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Re: Stephanie Cutter -- getting a deserved smackdo (4.00)
          Man, you are absolutely right.

          When Joe Lieberman was spouting off about how Howard Dean was foolish for stating that America was no safer after Saddam was captured, all I could think was 'I don't think America is any safer today either. Am I a fool too? Is Joe calling me a fool? Why doesn't he explain why it's safer, instead of just calling me a fool?'

          These tactics solidify the support for Dean, who is standing by his message and treating his supporters with intelligence and respect.

          •  Re: Stephanie Cutter -- getting a deserved smackdo (none)
            When Joe Lieberman was spouting off about how Howard Dean was foolish for stating that America was no safer after Saddam was captured, all I could think was 'I don't think America is any safer today either. Am I a fool too?

            Exactly. Basically what Joe was saying was that DailyKos.com is a sport of digital "spider hole of denial". I mean, I get the sentiment and see the logic, but I think Joe's an asshole for saying it and none of us are going to vote for him because of it.

            Joe Trippi is a Jedi.

            by Jumbo on Thu Dec 18, 2003 at 01:01:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Re: Stephanie Cutter -- getting a deserved smackdo (none)
      Sometimes I think a trained monkey could do it[...]

      Your supposition is correct. Who do you think is squatting in the Oval Office right now?

      Tilting at windmills, with the proper armor and enough firepower, can be a productive effort.

      by Serephin on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 05:10:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, now it is a .... (none)
      regular firing squad
  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter --smackdown (3.40)
    Stephanie, honey, background via blastfax?

    There is a level of pathetic self destruction emerging here.  We can run odds who goes farthest fastest in a downward trajectory ... and then wait for Lieberman to join the crowd. His own hot air is helping him at the moment...  and how long Edwards will run, as he begins to look witless, one thing I had not expected in spring.  Sacrificing that seat... oh boy, must not even entertain the idea of a life in Democratic politics, much less wahtever the idea was in '02 when this hatched.  My senate seat... for no horse on the battlefield.

    •  Devil's advocate (3.66)
      I'll play devil's advocate here and point out one thing about the validity of Anyone But Bush:

      Kerry's campaign is pretty gross.  And Lieberman and Gephardt are looking gross to me now too. (well, Lieberman always did, actually)

      But the simple fact remains that the three of them, even put together, don't have one-tenth of the hideous track record of Bush or his administration in issues that we all care about.  We need to keep perspective.

      Keep slamming away, but let's hold on to at least that tiny truth.  There can only be one nominee, so the rest of us will have to have something to fall back on.

      Fifty men can't take Aqaba, but fifty men riding from the great desert are fifty men that other men might join.

      by NYCO on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 03:19:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re: Stephanie Cutter --smackdown (none)
      Like practically everybody else here, I can't stand Lieberman, either personally or policy-wise. I hate the sound of his whiney voice and that awful hairstyle. But you know what really grates whenever I see him? His mouth. When he speaks, you only see the bottom row of his teeth. It's utterly creepy. My eye catches it every time, to the extent that I don't even hear what the guy is saying. Not that I care. Trivial, I know, but an observation. How candidates look and sound is of much more importance than many people realize.
  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter -- getting a deserved smackdo (none)
    ummm... Kos you might want to edit your post.

    "Good journalists should allow themselves to be used as tools for attack or disinformation."

  •  Re:Crash and Burn Candidates (3.66)
    At some point democrats in CT and MA need to write their native sons and tell them to put a sock in it.
    •  Re:Crash and Burn Candidates (none)
      I'm a CT dem. Write it for me and I'll send it. Say whatever you want. I detest HJ (Holy Joe) and will not vote for him.
      •  Re:Crash and Burn Candidates (4.00)
        Dear Senator Lieberman:

        I better not see your present attacks on other democrats featured in a Bush re-election spot next summer. We didn't elect Zell Miller in this state. Got it?

        Sincerely

        Your loyal constituent

    •  Re:Crash and Burn Candidates (none)
      I've written to Lieberman on several occasions, and the only thing I ever get back is a "Thank you for your support" letter. Even when I'm writing to criticize him!
    •  Re:Crash and Burn Candidates (3.33)
      You are hearing the death cries of our out-of-touch Democratic party.  We'll put the last nail in the coffin when Trippi and Dean run ads against Bush in the general election showing Lieberman, Kerry, and Gephardt slamming Dean...  and it helps him.  People in this country dislike Bush.  They dislike these self-serving and submissive Democrats even less.  

      I used to think they were all great legislators.  Now, I just think they need to be reminded who they represent.  I'd still vote for anybody against Bush, but I'm happy no one who doesn't live in Connecticult, Massachusetts, or Missouri will have to vote for any of these clowns ever again.

    •  Re:Crash and Burn Candidates (none)
      i just told my distinguished senator that cowardly anonymous attacks carried out incompetently do not fit him. Asked him nicely to withdraw and stop helping George Bush.
    •  Re:Crash and Burn Candidates (none)
      They are saying it. They say it when the pollsters call, and they tell the pollster they support Dean.
  •  Memory lane on Kerry's negativity (3.66)
    Just a moment of ironic remembrance.

    Didn't Kerry's campaign end up in the disorganized mess it is because 1) staff members advocated going negative, 2) Kerry couldn't simply say no and have done with it 3) said staffmembers left in a huff, 4) Kerry also couldn't manage their leaving very well.

    Um, Kerry?  Going negative is still killing you.

  •  John Kerry--stop digging! (4.00)
    There's something goofy in wanting something you've put in writing to be anonymous.

    If you want to anonymous drop-off documents with a journalist, that's one thing.  If you want to talk off the record, that's OK, under negotiated circumstances.

    Don't you have to have a journalism background to get these press secretary jobs?

    Kerry should put himself out of his misery and quit.  If you're in a hole, stop digging.

    Survivor poll of potential Dean VP candidates. Round nine; last day for nominations.

    by Carl Nyberg on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 03:20:03 PM PST

  •  Kerry Drop Watch (none)
    All right Kos, time for a Kerry Drop WatchTM.

    How about a poll?  When will Kerry drop?

    When was the last time the poor guy got any good news?  Wait, strike that.  Just plain neutral news?

    Time to go John.  You're making a fool of yourself.

    Anyway, my vote is right after the holidays.  After he gets a little bit of quiet time to get some perspective on the putrid state of his campaign.

    Put your money where your mouth is: Give $100 to the Democratic presidential nominee (whoever that may be.)

    by aleand on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 03:26:28 PM PST

    •  Re: Kerry Drop Watch (none)
      I don't think Kerry will drop until all of Teresa's money is gone. He's psychologically determined to destroy himself.

      He'll have to be pushed out. That won't be pretty, and I can't think of anyone in the party, except maybe Ted Kennedy or Robert Byrd, with enough influence/seniority to give him the talking to he's going to need.

      What a disappointment.

  •  Nagourney suxx (none)
    Nagourney is a self-serving hack.

    His coverage has been a steady stream of focusing on nitpicky attacks and flip-flops.

    Not ONE of his articles about the debates covered the issues.  All were rehashings of who said what and when and how the audience reacted.

    yeah, it's off topic...but the guy just bugs, yo!

  •  Punish Party Wreckers (3.69)
    Now, the reason that Kerry and Lieberman and Gephardt can engage in this nonsense is because there's no pressure for them not to.  What's the point of NOT attacking Dean by calling him unpatriotic, after all?  They still have their Senate seats to go back to, even if the Democratic Party continues to be the party of disloyalty thanks to their efforts.

    Turn it around.  Let's say you slag the GOP guy in charge, well what happens?  You get a primary challenger.  Not because your voting record is bad, but because you are weakening the party.

    So, bottom line, you weaken the party, you should pay.  That's why I would like to see primary challenges in safe Democratic states against anyone, regardless of voting record, who weakens the progressive cause solely for their personal gain.  There should NOT be a Senator from Mass who isn't a rock solid Democrat.  Same with CT.  These are BLUE states, and we need them as party building bases.

    Now, before the knives come out, I'm not a Dean supporter.  In fact, I worked for Kerry early on, and then for Clark.  But the people I know in Mass politics just don't like Kerry because he wreaks havoc on the national party, and also the Mass Democrats.  He just does no institution building at all.  So of course, we've got a GOP governor and a reactionary state house led by DINOs.  If our leadership isn't willing to build a movement, we will continue to lose.  Therefore we have to get rid of the leadership that isn't building a farm team and is instead weakening the party by reinforcing disturbing memes about Democrats and bring in those who will do the opposite on both counts.

    It's now time to start demanding that Democrats oppose Bush and reactionaries at all levels, and demand it loudly.

    •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (3.75)
      Preach!

      Personally I hope that all this re-invigoration of the Democratic base will at the very least give us the chance to get our act together. The American left has been a collage of splinter identity groups for too long. That includes ego/vanity identity groups as well as special interests.

      The platform, well intentioned as it is, has been suffering from dry-rot and disintegration for years. Clinton threw on some particle-board and lost a few old timbers in the process; ok for a few years, but not a sustanable solution.

      I'm really looking forward to the convention. I hope it's more than bread and circus.

      Politics is the art of controlling your environment. Participate! www.musicforamerica.org 1-800-MFA-6835

      by Outlandish Josh on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 04:25:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
      JPP,

      Why did you give me a troll rating?

      •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
        JPP,

        I suggest you take back the troll rating or people might be inspired to rate you down arbitrarily.

        Survivor poll of potential Dean VP candidates. Round nine; last day for nominations.

        by Carl Nyberg on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 04:39:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
          Quite honestly I don't give a [Kerry].

          I could go into a long rant about who exactly "started" the process of making this race "divisive" - however, it doesn't matter to me that much (except to the extend that some are being hypocritical) and I don't care to participate in the discussion that would ensue.

          All I can say is that you reap what you sow. Turn that against me. Turn it against Kerry or Lieberman or whomever. Just, and his is not directed to you specifically, keep it in mind.

          Peace, freedom and a few less fat bastards eating all the pie

          by JPP on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 04:52:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
            I could go into a long rant about who exactly "started" the process of making this race "divisive" - however, it doesn't matter to me that much (except to the extend that some are being hypocritical) and I don't care to participate in the discussion that would ensue.

            You cared enough to spend the time rating another in an increasing number of posts a troll and your response does not begin to justify that.
            I'm getting tired of repairing the damage you're doing with your new habit of giving out troll ratings for posts which obviously aren't trolls but obviously contain ideas you disagree with.
            If we all used that standard much of what you write would be rated off the blog. If you disagree with someone either respond with a clear description of why you disagree or suck up but stop abusing the ratings system in such a cowardly way.
            Thanks.

            "With a healthy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we can convince these people that we are here to help them." Donald Rumsfe

            by colleen on Thu Dec 18, 2003 at 10:55:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (2.25)
        I'm being harsh in passing out troll ratings for: any nasty personal insults, calls for primary challenges, or any other "divisive" comments that are supposedly no go if directed at Dean.

        I'm simply tired of reading comments by people outraged by "sleazy attacks" in the same thread as "sleazy attacks." I'm tired of reading how we need to have party unity in the same thread as calls for driving people out of the party with records more liberal and traditionally Democratic in the name of someone who has done almost zippo for national Democratic causes.

        It's more in sadness than in anger that I will be more generous in handing out low ratings for posts. I will also try and give good ratings for what I view as sensible posts in the same threads that I hand out low ratings. I certainly realize that this will have no effect on anyone's behavior, certainly not the irrational hypocrites among them (you Matt I would not classify in that manner since you did not post some foul insult), but rather than spend my time in fruitless flamewars I'll just point and click. That's just my take...minority view that it is.

        Peace, freedom and a few less fat bastards eating all the pie

        by JPP on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 04:46:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
          OK, so you readily admit to abusing the rating system. This is a real problem on this forum and you admit to being a part of it.

          I'll be requesting Kos to ban your account now...

          "Let them do the software in India; we'll do other things in this country" -- Wesley Clark

          by Ray in TX on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 05:36:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
          JPP,

          I am sympathetic to your overall point, but I would ask you not to rate me as a troll.  The community software is structured specifically to not show people troll posts.

          This was not an attack on an attack and it was not disingenuous.  Therefore, I respectfully request you reconsider your rating.

          •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
            I'm sorry, I just have no sympathy for calls for primary challenges. This is not a Traficant situation, nor even a Zell Miller case (which is closer). This is a call for political retaliation against people who have served the party and progressive causes for decades. That's crap and I don't have to view it with anything other than contempt.

            I'd add that before requesting that I change my rating you go back and read your post. It contains a gross distortion - intentional or not - about Congressman Gephardt and Senators Kerry and Lieberman. When did they ever call Dean unpatriotic? They've all said he's not up to the job, in one way or another, but have never questioned his patriotism - nor have they questioned his commitment to Democratic values. Can Howard Dean or his supporters say the same?

            I see attack's against Dean's capability and qualifications, but none against his character or integrity. I'm not buying what's being sold here by the "outraged" masses.

            Peace, freedom and a few less fat bastards eating all the pie

            by JPP on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 06:10:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
              Don't change the subject to primary challenges.  I'm not a troll and you know it.  Now please just show some good judgment and take it back.
              •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
                You implied that they called Dean unpatriotic and called for them to face a primary challenge. Are you saying that you didn't?

                I already showed good judgment and I have no inclination to go back on it.

                Peace, freedom and a few less fat bastards eating all the pie

                by JPP on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 06:28:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
              What?

              Since when is a primary challenge a bad thing?

              I understand not being crazy about term limits, but now we're not supposed to run primary challengers against incumbents because... because why, again?

              By the way, there have been plenty of attacks against Dean's character and integrity -- check the Kerry site for endless idiocy about "waffles," for example.

              •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
                I think it's perfectly fine in most circumstances. I mean being elected once doesn't entitle you to office for life. However, there is a world of difference btw the dissatisfaction of your constituents regarding your service and cheap political retaliation.

                Now w/o the former actually being present I think all the machinations on here amounts to so much juvenile plotting - doesn't make it less disgusting though.

                Peace, freedom and a few less fat bastards eating all the pie

                by JPP on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 06:34:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
                  I agree.

                  But I don't understand why you'd prefer to resort to ratings to make this point.

                  It's much better made by posting a reply.  I think you've made an excellent point, and it's one which I might not have thought about had Matt not called you out to explain your rating.

                  People can debate all day about whether or not you're abusing the ratings system, but there's no such issue when it comes to posting a reasoned response.  So do us all a favor and tell us what you're thinking instead.  I got something out of it, and I'm sure others will too.

            •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
              I'm sorry, I just have no sympathy for calls for primary challenges. This is not a Traficant situation, nor even a Zell Miller case (which is closer). This is a call for political retaliation against people who have served the party and progressive causes for decades. That's crap and I don't have to view it with anything other than contempt.

              You're entitled to your contempt, of course and your disagreement but what you're not entitled to is abuse of the ratings system. Trolls bait, insult or post misinformation. That is not what Matt was doing and not what most of the posts you've been handing out '1's' to over the past few days were doing.

              "With a healthy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we can convince these people that we are here to help them." Donald Rumsfe

              by colleen on Thu Dec 18, 2003 at 11:15:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
      You go Matt S! I couldn't agree more (Possibly I've written this to one of your posts before). As a MA dem I really agree--although we have to be careful what we wish for since 'punishment' can go both ways and can mean that outspoken democrats would get punished for not toe-ing the DLC clinton line. Still, in some ways, any kind of party discipline would be better than what we 've got--total dissarray and disloyalty in the face of a must-win-election.
    •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
      Does this idea deserve its own diary?

      Survivor poll of potential Dean VP candidates. Round nine; last day for nominations.

      by Carl Nyberg on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 05:05:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
      I'm responding to two posts: this one and NYCO's earlier diary here, referring to Gephardt and Kerry as Tory Democrats.

      MattS wrote:
      It's now time to start demanding that Democrats oppose Bush and reactionaries at all levels, and demand it loudly.

      While I condemn the motives and people behind them, the negative ads and attacks are nothing if not par for the political course in American history, going all the way back to the vicious whisper campaign over 200 years ago against Thomas Jefferson. Anyone with a marginal interest in domestic politics knows that domestic campaigns are never conducted under the Marquis of Queensbury Rules. If in doubt, ask Michael Dukakis. And I'm sure no one has any illusiuons that the Bush Campaign won't launch nasty attacks on the eventual Democratic nominee. If Howard Dean survives these political attacks, it'll make him a much stronger candidate for the General Election. And the Democratic Party will be better off for it.

      NYCO wrote here:
      Don't call them DLC Democrats.  Call them Tory Democrats, because that's what they are.

      Possibly.

      As for the term 'Tory,' it depends on your definition. As you well know, the term 'Liberal' has a very different meaning in Europe for, in their political cultures, it refers to late 19th century type of liberals -- comparable to our Libertarians. A professor of mine once referred to the United States as "the only developed country left with 19th century liberals."

      I haven't paid as much attention to the Kerry Campaign but no Tory (old or new, American or British) would propose as radical a heathcare program as Gephardt has. And Gephardt -- or for that matter, Al Gore -- are years removed from their 1980's DLC days. In Britain, ever since Winston Churchill's Tories inherited the National Healthcare System (NHS) from Clement Attlee's Labour Party in 1951, they have resisted expanding it. In fact, at certain points, they've somewhat reduced spending on the NHS, particularly during the Margaret Thatcher-John Major years. Interestingly, in this country, from Dwight D. Eisenhower on, Republican administrations have more or less maintained spending continity in the New Deal, Fair Deal, and Great Society social programs -- Bill Clinton's 1996 signing of Welfare Reform nothwithstanding.  

      On the issue of the war, you do have a point. While I'm supporting Gephardt in the primaries, I am opposed to the war. I sure as hell can't get into Gephardt's head but I do know one thing: every politician takes positions on issues for a variety of reasons. Some out of heartfelt political conviction, others out of necessity, still more due to expediency. And, no one is exempt from that. Even Dean.

      Capiche? :)

      A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

      by JekyllnHyde on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 05:46:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re: Punish Party Wreckers (none)
      Let's say you slag the GOP guy in charge, well what happens?  You get a primary challenger.

      Indeed.  They took Bob Smith's ass out in New Hampshire, even after he returned to the fold and acted all penitent.  I've thought for a long time that there's a lot we could learn from the Republicans when it comes to tactics.  After all, if you assume that our ideas are better, then superior tactics must be the reason they are winning elections.

  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (4.00)
    And using anonymity to attack is, in itself, a story (like, say, the Plame affair). Good journalists should not allow themselves to be used as tools for attack or disinformation. If the campaigns want to spread that shit, let them do it on the record or they should be outed.

    First, by way of disclosure, I should let you know that do Public Relations for a living. That said kos, I couldn't disagree with you more (and I'd bet tons of cash that Nagourney would agree with me).

    The reason Nagourney was justifiably pissed was that Cutter tried to set the ground rules without a negotiation. Setting the ground rules with a reporter is both standard practice and something that is usually well-received by every reporter (at least every reporter I've ever spoken to - which includes at least one at every major national publication). It is just about the only way that a reporter can get the entire story. You cannot assume that once you have set those rules for one interview that they apply for every subsequent interview, nor can you unilateraly set those rules.

    Using anonymity to attack someone is part fo the game. Let's say for the sake of arguement that you are a Democrat working for the CIA. You may want to point out certain flaws in the current administration's justifications for invading Iraq, but can't do so publically without endangering your career. Assuming this is the kind of information that would not be protected under any whistleblower statutes, then anonymous attacks are certainly appropriate.

    Cutter's behavior is something that should have royally pissed off every reporter that got that e-mail and prompted the same reaction as it prompted in the WP. It is a bush-league mistake on her part that should never have happened and is definitely a fireable offense. She not only looks like an idiot in the WP, she looks like an idiot everywhere else as well...and she's dragging Kerry along with her.

    •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (3.50)
      The CIA guy is a voiceless underling speaking what you know without overly risking your career, which probably hasn't been dedicated to politics and would be OVER if your current employer let you go. His or her actions are for the sake of the nation.

      Stephanie Cutter is someone whose career IS politics, who WON'T lose her job for revealing this information, and who is being PAID to do this. Her actions are for the sake of her political candidate.

      Beyond that, I agree. What turns me off the most about this story, though, is that Kerry's campaign started cutting Nagourney out of their emails. This is similar to tactics used by the Bush campaign and the White House: say something bad about us and you won't be able to cover us. It's politics-as-usual and it's time of these sort of things to stop.

      If it turns out that six months from now, whoever the nominee is has little chance of winning the election, then the election should be used to start a war on politics-as-usual (polls, pathetic semantics, flip-flopping, and press manipulation).

      •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (3.50)
        Yeah...I kinda worrried that the analogy was weak.

        Ultimately, Stephanie made the decision that while it would benefit Kerry if the contents of her e-mail were published, it would not benefit Kerry if the info came from the Kerry camp. This calculation happens all the time in PR and is, I believe, perfectly acceptable. Her sin was (i) to violated the standard course of conduct for the flack in his/her relationship with the reporter and (ii) she became the story. The first leads to the second and the second should lead to a pink slip...but then Kerry fires way too many people.

      •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (none)
        Good post, but the war on polls, pathetic semantics, flipflopping and press manipulation has to start sooner than that.

        For example, someone should dig up the statistics (sorry, it's been a year or two since I've seen them) showing that negative political ads 'bleed-over' - that is, they cause products advertised before and after them to be received less favorably.

        Making ad vendors aware of that would have the effect of instituting a tax on negative ads.

      •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (none)
        Beyond that, I agree. What turns me off the most about this story, though, is that Kerry's campaign started cutting Nagourney out of their emails. This is similar to tactics used by the Bush campaign and the White House: say something bad about us and you won't be able to cover us. It's politics-as-usual and it's time of these sort of things to stop.

        It's similar, but dumber.

        The White House has the built-in clout to make the NYT worry about how it will effect their coverage if their reporter is cut out of the loop.  But the Kerry campaign is only shooting itself in the foot by snubbing them.  OK, fine.  The New York Times won't cover the dying Kerry campaign.  Happy?

  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (3.50)
    One more thing,

    What is Kerry's strategy at this point?  It's quite well known (well, I think, anyway) that attacks on another candidate do nothing to inflate your own numbers.  It usually depresses the attacked's number, and it discourages participation, but the attacker's number don't usually rise (they might even drop a bit).

    Kerry's numbers are atrocious.  Everywhere.  The only thing he is doing with his attacks on Dean is to help Gep (in Iowa), Clark (most everywhere else), and W (in the generals).

    This might explain Cutter's desire for secrecy (and the stealth attack from that 527 group) as a way to have it both ways.  Except that Kerry has been on an anti-Dean tirade 24/7 of late.

    What are the positive-type efforts coming from his campaign lately?  "The Real Deal" (so many jokes, so little time) and the "First 100 days" schtick.  No one cares enough about the guy, and he thinks that people are going to go to his website to look at the laundry list he's cooked up?  Right....

    Put your money where your mouth is: Give $100 to the Democratic presidential nominee (whoever that may be.)

    by aleand on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 04:02:38 PM PST

  •  Re: Kerry (3.50)
    Very simple: If you can't run a campaign, how can you run the country?
  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter -- getting a deserved smackdo (3.50)
    This is the same woman, of course, who sent out an e-mail after the Gore endorsement which included her own personal thoughts...both TNR and The Note called her on it.
    •  Here are some options... (none)
      The Cutter e-mail fiasco is located here for all those who don't read either TNR or The Note. Anyone who hires someone who engages in this level of silly PR games needs to seriously rethink their decision. If I was Kerry, and had already jettisoned some people, it might be time to shakeup the public relations department.
  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter -- getting a deserved smackdo (3.80)
    If pissy democratic campaign staffers can be outed by the press, why can't those who committed federal crimes &  jeopardized national security?

    Nagourney did the right thing. He will be  lionized by his colleagues. Yet, his admirers won't stop spreading anonymous Dean smears How much real courage does it take to  out the pathetic & hypocrital gambit of a campaign flaming out?

    Its not like Nagourney has to fear Kerry because he is going to be in the White House anytime soon. Cutter is an easy target because there is no risk or downside to outing her. In the scheme of the Washington food chain, she's at the bottom.

    The Plame outers are at the top of the food chain. Their pathetic & hypocritical gambits remain anonymous. None of the journos, who will get all teary eyed about Nagourney, will out the Plame outers. [Atrios metaphor: They want "preznit giv me turkee" approval.]

    Wouldn't want it to look like the WH was playing politics with national security & the Iraq war while pretending not to, would we? Wouldn't want to reveal that the WH practices the politics of personal destruction while hiding behind the coattails of an enabling media, would we?

    I applaud Nagourney for saying "I will not let someone attack someone else anonymously." I just wish the heathers could gin up enough moral gumption to do the same.

    •  Re: Stephanie Cutter -- getting a deserved smackdo (none)
      These boys are leaking blood.  They thought they could run a vicious anti Dean game.  ooooooh, they are about to learn what it is to be hunted on a national level.  Dueling stories of the fall.

      Kerry, Gep.... little bit back comes Lieb.
      That feasting will render the press hungry again after a sleep, then back to consume whomever then is leaking.

      I am so torn between popcorn and champgne.

  •  Mo-rons (none)
    Clearly, she's a mo-ron. I normally loathe Nagourney's gotcha-oriented reporting, but I was cheering him for this one.

    Remember that minimizing blind quotes in now official Times policy under Keller--this new rule may in part explain why WaPo has been scooping NYT on the daily.

    If you like this comment, then you'll love my weblog.

    by praktike on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 04:25:50 PM PST

  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter -- getting a deserved smackdo (none)
    That'll do, kos.

    *sniff*

    So proud. :)

  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (none)
    People do what she did all the time. And I've never seen anyone get called out like that. I've got $20 that says every single campaign has put out releases and emails on background, without calling ahead to see if the reporter agrees it's background. The White House and other agencies routinely trot out someone into the press room for a briefing as a "Senior Administration Official" without individually negotiating with all of the reporters that they agree to that arrangement.

    I happen to dislike the practice, and maybe Nagourney's article will begin to turn the tide toward more on the record sources, but it's pretty unfair in my opinion to suggest that Cutter committed political malpractice. She just got unlucky.

    Plus, for what it's worth, Stephanie's a great person. That still counts for something in my book.

    •  Re: Stephanie Cutter (none)
      If, as you speculate, journalists routinely honor one-way confidentiality messages from other candidates, then the state of journalism is much worse than I imagined. As it is, anonymity is over-used in the mainstream media; to allow spinmeisters to ditto it in every email will soon result in no attribution to any name, comletely unreliable statements of fact, and highly misleading analytical pieces. There was a day when NPR could be safely relied. No more, with the increasingly obvious right-wing bias of NPR'S Mara Liasson and Cokie Roberts.

      I have been a Kerry fan for years but his Iraq waffling, peculiarly inept campaigning, and that appalling staff he's cobbled together is destroying the good will in record time.

       

  •  Re; Adam Nagourney (3.75)

    Dear Kos,

    I am giving you some inside dope on him which is important to know..

    I am from New York City and I have known Adam Nagourney since he first began covering City and the State elections. Stephanie Cutter did not make Adam into an enemy.  He has always been one.   He has never covered Democratic campaigns or candidates fairly or without snide, demeaning and disparaging opinions parading as truthful observations.

    He has a one sided sense of ethics.  He would never do to a Republican campaign or candidate what he just did to the Kerry campaign. Encouraging him to flout journalistic ethics will only boomerang back to harm our eventual nominee.  Besides, unless he is reassigned he won't  be covering  the Republicans  just  the Dems. Believe me he will happily engage in the kind of group piling on that the press did to Gore in 2000.  Indeed his treatment of the Kerry campaign when it is down, is emblematic of trashing of  the supposed down candidate that could easily be how the press will play the 2004 election in terms of Dems vs. Bush.

    I have had personal conversations with him and I know that his view of Dean is jaundiced , mean-spirited and dismissive. He will gleefully do to Dean what he did to Kerry or to anyone else who could be the nominee. His writings about the rest of the field treats them as midgets, connivers and wannabes. Which is his historical stance .

    I have read almost everything he has written about politics and sometimes they are about I campaigns I have personally worked on and he is not our friend.  

    Take his coverage of the Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner. ( I was there. It was enormous and  thrilling and showed how  great the enthusiasm and determnation to send George back to Crawford ) But Adam's take on it was a disservice to the public, our issues and our candidates.  He wrote only about  Hillary in the most  Machiavellian inside baseball kind of way.  Adam's coverage of Democratic politics make Ted Koppel in the New Hampshire debate look like a burnished icon of journalism.

    Please don't encourage his brand of gotcha journalism because he will only use it to harm us, our nominee and our party.

    PS I thought this was an ABB site but your attitude toward Kerry is beginning to poison the pool.

    •  Re: Re; Adam Nagourney (none)
      Is it legal to push this kind of person in front of a train?  Not really?  Can you double check?
    •  Re: Re; Adam Nagourney (none)
      I hate to say it, but I think Kerry is poisoning the pool himself. Personally, I'm planning to sit back and decide who gets my primary vote about the time that the WI primary rolls around.


      Kerry's campaign is a mess. It's unclear to me what he's actually running for. Which is too bad, since I thought going in that he'd make a fine President.

  •  Just One Sour Grape (none)
    The thing is that if Dean's war opposition was purely political, it shows some savvy insight, doesn't it, because at the time he started talking down the war, every Democratic senator was affraid to do that for fear of being called a traitor, that is, for political reasons.
  •  Re: Stephanie Cutter -- (none)
    Good journalists should not allow themselves to be used as tools for attack or disinformation. If the campaigns want to spread that shit, let them do it on the record or they should be outed.

    The problems of world peace and third-world hunger are less intractable and would be easier rectify.

    "If we don't get Iraq right in time," fretted one National Security Council official, "we could lose the election."

    by jg on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 09:23:56 PM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site