I've said it before: Democrats need to stay the hell off FOX. Not because we should be afraid of their questions, but because it legitimizes a clear and overt propaganda unit of the RNC. And frankly, when Democrats do stay off FOX, it gets under their craw, and forces them to do WATB tactics like the Obama Clock. And that worked well for Democrats until just recently, and then both Democratic presidential contenders appeared on FOXNews Sunday. Now it is DNC chairman Howard Dean's turn to try to contextualize host Chris Wallace's crowing that Democrats are now appearing on FNS. The problem is that he just didn't do it strong enough.
Dean: No, I think it was the right thing to do (boycott Fox debates and appearances) because there are some things in the news department that really have been shockingly biased. And I think that’s wrong. And I’ll just say so right up front, but it is important also for us to not…we shouldn’t punish the viewers of FOX by staying away. Now those viewers have had an opportunity to look at the debates on other channels, now they're going to have an opportunity viewing on this channel and I think that's fair.
Are you kidding me? The network that aired the "Dean Scream" ad nauseam should be given a place in the Democratic primary race?
Wouldn't it have been better if Dean had been tougher when he decided to go ahead and appear on FOX and said something to the effect of "the Republicans have done such a poor job of managing this country that their party is falling apart, and we wanted to go to the one network that we know caters to conservatives and try to get some truth on this network, so that the voters understand that conservative politics--such as FOX News advocates constantly--are not in their best interest. So I'll give FOX a chance to show that 'fair and balanced' is more than a catchy phrase to fool their viewers."?
Transcripts below the fold
Wallace: Governor, not to say that we’ve been counting, but it has been nineteen months since you’ve appeared here or on any FOX program. How do you explain the fact that in less than a week—and we’re very happy to have you—Governor Dean and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have all shown up on FOX?
Dean: Well, first of all, your audience is important to us. There’s…a lot of your audience are working class Democrats, the kind of people who will vote either way and we’d like them to vote Democrat. And second of all, you gave us a fair opportunity to talk about Sen. McCain’s record. The truth is, is if ordinary people in this country knew what Sen. McCain believed about the economy and about Iraq, they wouldn’t support him. And that’s one of the reasons the Republicans have put such a big fuss about our ads. It’s because those ads really move independent voters. Sen. McCain is an honorable person, he served this country with great honor during the war, but Sen. McCain is not the right person to lead America into the future…
Wallace: Governor, again, I’m going to bring you back. We give you plenty of time to bash McCain. The left wing of your party is in a snit, over all these Democrats appearing on FOX. In fact, the head of MoveOn.org had this to say about Democrats on Fox: “It legitimizes a right-wing network that is going to use that celebrity to smear them—the Democrats--in the general election.” He and the head of the DailyKos are using words about you guys showing up here as “weak”, “idiotic”, “stupid”, how do you respond to the left wing?
Dean: What I say is this: we stayed off FOX for a long time because your news department is in fact biased. But Chris, you haven’t been. We’ve always…you’ve always been tough, but I always thought fair and I still think that’s true. And we need to communicate with people who are going to vote in the Democratic Party. Hundreds of thousands of Republicans have turned their back on their own party to vote in the Democrat primaries in the last six months. We owe it to all the American people to reach out to those folks. So this is not about FOXNews, that’s not why I’m here today. I’m out because I want to talk to your viewers directly about why this election is important and what we can offer the American people.
Wallace: And let me ask you, and obviously it’s always about the millions of people who watch these shows. Looking back, do you think it was a mistake for the Democratic party to boycott FOX debates and all the other programs during the last year, and thereby boycott getting your message out to the millions of people who watch?
Dean: No, I think it was the right thing to do because there are some things in the news department that really have been shockingly biased. And I think that’s wrong. And I’ll just say so right up front, but it is important also for us to not…we shouldn’t punish the viewers of FOX by staying away. Now those viewers have had an opportunity to look at the debates on other channels, now they're going to have an opportunity viewing on this channel and I think that's fair.