Thursday, June 26, 2003

Russert a shill for aWol, and Kurtz buries the story again

Remember how Atrios pointed out yesterday that Tim Russert of MTP actually called the White House to get his talking points when he interviewed Howard Dean? And that this was the real story of the interview?

Well, Howard Kurtz does include this material in his column, give the guy credit. Quoting Michael Tomasky:

Here, an independent news organization went to a sitting administration, asked it to work up numbers for its benefit, and then used those numbers to launch what amounted to a rhetorical sting operation on a candidate of the other party.

"Do you suppose MTP ever asked the Clinton administration to produce research proving that the Harry and Louise ad campaign against the Clinton health plan was full of lies? Or asked the Gore campaign to offer up a study debunking Bush's explanation of how he'd cut billions in taxes and keep the surplus going?

"And it goes without saying -- except it matters, so I'll say it -- that the research was selective. The analysis excluded single people and low-income couples -- the two groups that benefit least from the tax cuts."

So, a supposedly independent SCLM gets aWol to write a script for them. That's the story.

But Kurtz spins the real story away in two ways. First, his lead-in says that "Michael Tomasky says Dean was sandbagged." Not the point, Howard!

Second, he buries this material in the middle of a ton of quotes on the MoveOn primary.

With this interview, Russert propelled himself to the top of the heap as a candidate for MW of 2003, and it can't get a headline in WaPo. C'mon, Howard! How hard does Tim have to work to get a little recognition?