Saturday, January 24, 2004

Perhaps they will listen to one of their own?

Dick Meyer, Editorial Director of CBSNews.com and veteran political reporter of 20 years takes his colleagues to the woodshed for their handling of the "Dean Scream".

It's another fact of life that Dean gave the late-night comedians great material. The Dean Scream jokes are terrific, as is the gag picture someone just e-mailed of the offending Dean choking a cat.

But the press corps' decision that the Scream was serious is a bit more disturbing. One of the many character flaws common to the species 'reporter' -- one that I have in spades -- is an exaggerated pleasure in the fall of the mighty. There is some of that happening with Dean right now. I don't get too worked up about the media "making" or "creating" stories; there is no way for that not to happen in modern government and politics. But this time I do think Dean is getting a very bad rap.

Meyer goes on to point out that reporters on the scene didn't seem to see anything odd about Dean's speech. He also highlights one of the most annoying hypocrisies in all this: political journalists keeps complaining about candidates who are to slick, artificial and dependent on autobiographical sob-stories. Yet when a candidate comes along who isn't like that they complain about him being to rough around the edges and not willing enough to share personal details about their life.

Make up your mind people!

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