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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

The NY Times Swoons For Dr. Dean

The only attempt at restraint is the placement below the fold of the front page. The headline proclaims that "Defying Labels Left or Right, Dean's '04 Run Makes Gains". Dean defies the labels! Read on:

Dr. Dean, who began as an antiwar gadfly, has in the past month burst from his obscurity to rank among the top contenders in a crowded field of Democrats for the party's presidential nomination.

Thanks to his stunning surge as the top fund-raiser among the potential Democratic candidates in the second quarter, Dr. Dean now has a campaign budget to match those of more-established candidates like Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri.

I have added emphasis only because the Times format does not.

With his early and intense opposition to the American-led attack on Iraq, his call for universal health insurance and his signing a bill that created civil unions for gay couples in Vermont, Dr. Dean, 54, is seen as the most liberal of the major Democratic candidates.

A devastating litany of positions with which NY Times readers will never get comfortable. Ever.

Over 11 years, he restrained spending growth to turn a large budget deficit into a surplus [He's Bill Clinton!], cut taxes [He's George Bush.], forced many on welfare to go to work [He's Clinton again (quiet, Newt)], abandoned a sweeping approach to health-care reform in favor of more incremental measures [He's smarter than Hillary!!], antagonized environmentalists [credible on the environment!], won the top rating from the National Rifle Association [Bush again?] and consistently embraced business interests [unnerving, but maybe in a good way? Clinton!]

After winning the first of his five elections for governor by more than 50 points, he barely got a majority in 2000, in part because of third-party challenges from the left that, in the 2002 election absent Dr. Dean, helped hand the governor's chair to a Republican. [without Dr. Dean, the party was lost!]

It is a much longer profile, but I stopped here, as I find this sort of PDA a bit awkward. Get a room!

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