Thanks to reader TM who brought this interesting article from the Miami Herald to our attention: Murder by media: The Dean Scream
You’ve seen the clip. After Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl, it’s the most famous news video of 2004. Dean is addressing campaign supporters after he lost the Iowa party caucuses in January. He’s screaming for no apparent reason, practically shrieking, ticking off the states where he’s vowing to continue the race. His face is red, his voice breaking. He looks deranged. It’s a portrait of a man out of control. It’s documentary evidence that Dean lacks the temperament for high office.
In fact the Dean Scream was a fraud, probably the clearest instance of media assassination in recent U.S. political history.
Last year, a young cable news producer attended one of our twice-yearly Ethics Institutes at Washington and Lee University, in which students and journalists gather to discuss newsroom wrongdoing. He brought two clips.
The first was the familiar pool footage of Dean in Iowa. The candidate filled the screen, no supporters were visible. Crowd noise was silenced by the microphone he held, which deadened ambient sounds. You saw only him and heard only his inexplicable screaming.
The second clip was the same speech taped by a supporter on the floor of the hall. The difference was stunning. The place was packed. The noise was deafening. Dean was on the podium, but you couldn’t hear him. The roar from his supporters was drowning him out.
Dean was no longer scary, unhinged, volcanic, over the top. He was like the coach of a would-be championship NCAA football team at a pre-game rally, trying to be heard over a gym full of determined, wildly enthusiastic fans. I saw energy, not lunacy.
Is it not hard to see why Charles Johnson, a fanatical supporter of George W Bush and his bloodthirsty Republican Party, would seek to distort the image of one of the Democratic Party's leading lights in the run-up to the election? Accurate reporting, LGF observers know, is not something Charles is interested in when there's a war to be won...
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