I've criticized Dean before, but this is the smartest rhetorical gambit he's taken in weeks. From a speech tonight
Dean's recent remarks drew a rebuke from Vice President Dick Cheney in an interview to be aired Monday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity & Colmes," according to the Associated Press.
Cheney called Dean "over the top" and "not the kind of individual you want to have representing your political party," according to the Associated Press.
Asked by a reporter Sunday to reply to Cheney's criticisms, Dean said: "My view is that Fox News is a propaganda outlet of the Republican Party and that I don't comment on Fox News." The response drew applause from the room.
Let me explain why this was very, very smart.
1.)Dean didn't attack Cheney. Given a chance by a reporter to attack the VP - who said, remember "Maybe his mother loved him, but I've never met anybody who does" - Dean demurred. He took the high road and the headline from this will not be "Dean bashes Cheney."
2.)Dean injected criticism of Fox News into the media's bloodstream. Every newspaper running this story has a simple comment from Dean that "Fox News is a propaganda outlet of the Republican Party." Every reader's going to see that comment and, one hopes, go "Hmmm." Every network that decides to make a "crazy Dean" story out of this is going to repeat it.
3.)This is a true statement. I know lots of people who watch Fox News, but only some of them argue that it's actually "fair and balanced" and reporting news that the rest of the (liberal) media want. Most people sheepishly admit that yeah, it's the GOP's house organ. 100% of journalists will say so, and they're the ones writing stories about Dean.
What do you think? Besides "Woo-hoo"?