Sunday, February 8

Too Late II

Hiking around my 'hood, I picked up the local freebie paper and was intrigued by the cover story which I need to share with all of you.

Most of what you've been reading and hearing about Howard Dean (here included) comes from "journalists" or "acquaintances" who have barely spent five minutes with the man.

Here is the story you'll probably never hear on the national media. It comes from the Hermosa Beach Easy Reader, a weekly serving the LA South Bay community. Paul Teetor (who currently lives in Manhattan Beach, CA) is someone who spent 7 years with Dean as a newspaper reporter in Vermont. Three guesses what he says about Dean's alleged temper.

While he doesn't give Dean a completely free pass (he places the blame on Dean acting more like a doctor rather than a politician), he cuts him a hell of a lot more slack than the media who never bothered to get to know squat about him.

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

Howard and Me
by Paul Teetor

It started last summer when I heard a Fox News TV commentator call Howard Dean “a far left radical, almost a socialist.”

It got stronger last fall when I saw a cartoon in the LA Times depicting Dean committing suicide with a gun made of his “lies, distortions and misstatements.”

It really took hold after the Iowa Caucuses, when Dean’s “I Have a Scream” speech became Number 1 with a bullet in the media echo chamber.

This Dean guy from Vermont must be a dangerous dingbat, a Volvo driving, sushi eating, latte drinking, Barbara Streisand loving weirdo in desperate need of anger management. A chump candidate made to order for President George W. Bush to roll over on his way to a landslide next fall.

Dean looked like Michael Dukakis 2.0 – more liberal, more outspoken, more dangerous to national security, and even shorter than the 1988 Democratic nominee. Even God recently predicted that Bush would beat Dean in a “blowout,” according to noted political pundit Pat Robertson. He didn’t mention if God thinks it will cleanse the historical taint of Bush’s 2000 Presidential Selection.

Dean was being defined – and defamed - for the nation while he was still struggling to define himself locally in places like Boone, Iowa and Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.

To many of us who watched Dean up close in Vermont, the national portrait of the candidate -- ideological, emotionally out of control, hysterically liberal -- was all but unrecognizable.

By all knowledgeable accounts Dean is a known quantity with a track record of philosophical centrism and fiscal discipline. But somehow the Fox analysts and Republican-friendly news organizations – The Washington Times, New York Post and MSNBC, among others -- have transformed Dean’s less-than-perfect personality quirks and speak-before-you-think verbal gaffes into an image so radical it’s laughable even to his Vermont enemies.