Friday, December 05, 2003

The Howler Harpoons Krauthammer's Latest Whopper

"Charles Krauthammer is deeply dishonest. In fact, the Washington Post should fire him, now. In a fire-breathing column in this morning’s Post, Krauthammer tells the world what a crackpot that Howard Dean is. To promote his point, Krauthammer presents a “transcript” from Monday’s night’s Hardball—a “transcript” he has artfully doctored. Here’s how the scribe presents one Q-and-A from Monday night’s Hardball program:

KRAUTHAMMER:
Chris Matthews: “Would you break up Fox?”
Howard Dean: “On ideological grounds, absolutely yes, but….I don’t want to answer whether I would break up Fox or not….What I’m going to do is appoint people to the FCC that believe democracy depends on getting information from all portions of the political spectrum, not just one.”

Wow! “On ideological grounds,” Howard Dean wants to break up Fox! According to Krauthammer, this exchange shows that Dean “is now exhibiting symptoms of a related illness, Murdoch Derangement Syndrome (MDS), in which otherwise normal people believe that their minds are being controlled by a single, very clever Australian.”
Of course, Krauthammer was playing Post readers for fools. Because we’ve dealt with people like Krauthammer for years, our reaction to this “transcript” was virtually preordained; our eyes were drawn to those suspicious ellipses which broke up Krauthammer’s pleasing text. And so we did what we’ve done for years—we checked the official transcript. And yes, we found what we frequently do; Krauthammer was playing Post readers for fools. The key words in the transcript are [LAUGHTER], which Krauthammer deftly removed:

OFFICIAL MSNBC TRANSCRIPT:
MATTHEWS: Rupert Murdoch has the Weekly Standard. It has got a lot of other interests. It has got the New York Post. Would you break it up?

DEAN: On ideological grounds, absolutely yes, but—

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: No, seriously. As a public policy, would you bring industrial policy to bear and break up these conglomerations of power?

DEAN: I don’t want to answer whether I would break up Fox or not, because, obviously—

MATTHEWS: Well, how about large media enterprises?

DEAN: Let me—yes, let me get—

(LAUGHTER)

DEAN: The answer to that is yes. I would say that there is too much penetration by single corporations in media markets all over this country. We need locally-owned radio stations. There are only two or three radio stations left in the state of Vermont where you can get local news anymore. The rest of it is read and ripped from the AP.

MATTHEWS: So what are you going to do about it? You’re going to be president of the United States, what are you going to do?

DEAN: What I’m going to do is appoint people to the FCC that believe democracy depends on getting information from all portions of the political spectrum, not just one."

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