Former Vermont Gov. and Presidential hopeful Howard Dean went on a nutty rampage against the media this morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and gave some news outlets a swift kick in the teeth. As he and Co-host Joe Scarborough bitched and moaned about how unfair newspapers can be — Scarborough criticizing his hometown paper’s “powerful” editorial board, and Dean blasting the NYT for being too opinion-based in its news stories — he did make a valid point about how thin-skinned the media is.
And then he went haywire. He set his wrath on two publications in particular: The Daily Caller and National Review. When he learned that Daily Caller columnist Matt Lewis, a “friend of the show,” said on Twitter that Dean needed to lay off the caffeine, saying, “Time for Howard Dean to switch to decaf,” Dean’s horse brain snapped. He called The Daily Caller “a right-wing propaganda machine.” (Psst… case in point on the caffeine?)
When asked about it, Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson asked FishbowlDC, “Howard Dean is still alive? Where is he?”
But The Daily Caller wasn’t alone. Dean also sunk his canines into National Review.
After siding with the DOJ on the issue of the off-the-record press conference that many publications, such as the NYT, AP and HuffPost, are boycotting, he blasted National Review.
“National Review is just silly,” he began his rant. “Who is going to take them seriously? They are a right-wing conservative nutcase. Let’s just be blunt about the National Review, right? They claimed last week that I said that the death of four Americans in Benghazi was a joke. What I said was that the investigation was a joke. This is crap. Who gives a damn? This is why I don’t read editorial pages cause I don’t give a damn what these people think.”
Naturally National Review‘s Jim Geraghty shot back, “Howard Dean dismisses National Review as ‘silly, right-wing nut cases.’ Well, we have our silly moments.” And with that, he posted this magazine cover.
The site didn’t waste any time. National Review‘s Andrew Johnson wrote a stinging post on Dean’s insults and explained the story he was complaining about and actually disproved what Dean said. Johnson writes, “He said that the post suggested he called the death of four Americans, rather than the issues surrounding it, a joke. The post’s first line: ‘Former Democratic National committee chairman Howard Dean considers the controversy over Benghazi a ‘joke’ and ’silly.’”
Dean’s argument: destroyed.
National Journal‘s Ron Fournier, meanwhile, went all limp, of course, in his reply. He wrote on Twitter, where he has been camped out for days, “Can’t argue with ur dim take on media, @GovHowardDean. Our institutions have earned public’s lack of faith. Don’t see how secret mtng helps.”
UPDATE: The Daily Caller also wrote up the morning incident and posted videos. They provided no further commentary about it.