Thursday, December 04, 2003

More on those Bush records

The DailyKOS has the latest scoop on the status of Bush's records in Texas. It turns out that, once again, mainstream journalists didn't do their homework and it was left up to a Vermont political columnist Peter Freyne  to find out that gaining access to Bush's records isn't as easy as the New York Times suggested.

Of course, the truth in this story won't matter as long as it doesn't get out. So we need to make sure that other mainstream journalists are made aware of this and don't run with the preferred Bush spin.

Update: This extract from Freyne's column is telling:

Since yours truly is constantly on a quest for Dean info, we asked Isikoff where he was hearing what he was hearing. Was it from John McClaughry, we asked?

“Who’s John McClaughry?” asked Isikoff.

McClaughry is the Republican Ho-Ho crushed in 1992 with 75 percent of the vote. Don’t think Johnny Think-Tanker’s gotten over it.

It turned out Isikoff had been feeding on the Ruth Dwyer political chow line instead!

The Newsweek reporter didn’t know much about Ruthless Ruth’s past. Mrs. Dwyer was the Republican opponent Dean twice beat handily, in 1998 and 2000. She then landed a stint as a TV “investigative” reporter. That career ended last summer when WVNY (ABC) dropped its entire news operation.

Mr. Isikoff had never heard the story about the explanation Ruth once gave for Dr. Dean’s favorable press coverage. According to published reports, fellow Republican Bernie Rome claimed Truthless Ruth told him in 1997 it was due to the fact that Dean and the state’s top political reporters had something very special in common — they were all Jews!

It wasn’t true, of course, but Mrs. Dwyer always had a talent for seeing conspiracies that no one else could envision. And it’s no surprise she imagines deep, dark secrets locked away in Ho-Ho’s sealed records.

By press time, Isikoff was unable to come up with anything substantial. Instead, Newsweek went with the suspicious sounding headline, “What’s in Howard Dean’s Secret Files?”

This is eerily similar to what happened with Clinton during the '92 election: enterprising national reporters becoming conduits for smears regurgitated by a candidate's past political opponents. Isikoff made his name doing just that with Clinton. Looks like he is trying to do the same with Dean.


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