Hilarious: Howard Dean Accuses MSNBC, Media of Anti-Hillary Bias

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean ranted against the media's supposed "double standard" against Hillary Clinton on Friday's Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC. Dean asserted that "there is nothing to the e-mails" controversy, and went on the attack: "When is the media and when are her opponents gonna stop attacking her personally?...I think it's wrong; and frankly, it really burned me up...I am really going after the media. I think what the media has done to this person on the campaign trail, who's gonna be the next President of the United States, is enough already." [video below]

The former Democratic presidential candidate later claimed that "there has not been a single time for the last 25 years, where the right-wing has gone after it — and the media has dutifully followed up the inquiry — where they have found one thing — not Whitewater; not Vince Foster's suicide — none of this stuff."

Host Andrea Mitchell turned to Dean for his take on MSNBC's Democratic presidential debate the previous evening. She first asked, "Chuck Todd asked Hillary Clinton whether she would put to rest all these questions about conflicts of interests from her speeches by just releasing the transcripts that she had in her speaking contract. So transcripts were made for her use only. She would have control over them. Should she release those transcripts? She kind of blew past it by saying, 'I'll look into it.'"

The guest wasted little time before launching his attack on "the media and...her [Hillary Clinton's] opponents." He first bluntly replied that "this is really an attack on character, and I think it's unseemly to go this far." The Democrat continued with his "when is the media and when are her opponents gonna stop attacking her personally" rhetorical question.

Mitchell followed up with her own candid analysis of one of Mrs. Clinton's statements from the debate: "She said in the debate, she didn't realize that she was going to be running for president. That sort of defies all credulity for those of us who have watched her politically. She still made all of those paid speeches at a time when she was on a book tour and doing other things. It's hard to understand why she took that risk, because some of them were to controversial sponsors." Dean didn't give a direct answer initially, so the MSNBC journalist rephrased her question. The former governor answered by resuming his attack on the media:

ANDREA MITCHELL: But is she on the wrong side of the zeitgeist, in the sense that there is anger at Wall Street? You've got this populist economic appeal that is reaching young people in particular — including many people who should be part of her base, given her history; her track record. So was it — was it a mistake politically to show herself to be so closely tied financially to the Wall Street interests?

HOWARD DEAN, (D), FMR. VERMONT GOVERNOR: ...Why does Hillary Clinton have to put up with a double standard? I don't hear anybody asking Bernie Sanders for his transcripts for some speech he made with a labor union...labor unions are super PAC's. Now they're super PAC's that Democrats like, so we don't go after labor unions....

I am tired of the attacks on Hillary Clinton's integrity. I think they're unwarranted and there has not been a single time for the last 25 years — where the right-wing has gone after it — and the media has dutifully followed up the inquiry — where they have found one thing — not Whitewater; not Vince Foster's suicide — none of this stuff. So why are we talking about this? Why are we not talking about the issues and what kind of a President Hillary Clinton is gonna be?

The anchor retorted, "Well, we're talking about it because Bernie Sanders has made it a campaign issue and she is — he is her only opponent. So, it's an issue in this campaign."

The transcript of the relevant portion of the Howard Dean interview from the February 5, 2016 edition of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports:

Tell the Truth 2016

ANDREA MITCHELL: Howard Dean is joining me here — former Vermont governor, of course — and Democratic chair, and a strong Hillary Clinton supporter, who was front and center at the debate last night.

Let me ask you about a couple of things that came up during the debate. Chuck Todd asked Hillary Clinton whether she would put to rest all these questions about conflicts of interests from her speeches by just releasing the transcripts that she had in her speaking contract. So transcripts were made for her use only. She would have control over them. Should she release those transcripts? She kind of blew past it by saying, 'I'll look into it.'
    
HOWARD DEAN, (D), FMR. VERMONT GOVERNOR: Yeah, Andrea, I'm sure she will look into it. This is really an attack on character, and I think it's unseemly to go this far. I mean, we've heard this e-mail drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip. There is nothing to the e-mails. Colin Powell has said so. The State Department has admitted that these things were all reclassified after the fact.

So my question is, when is the media and when are her opponents gonna stop attacking her personally? Enough already. I haven't heard anybody else asked to have all their speeches' transcripts released. I think this is a double standard; I think it's wrong; and frankly, it really burned me up. So whether she releases the transcripts or not is up to her; but I am really going after the media. I think what the media has done to this person on the campaign trail, who's gonna be the next President of the United States, is enough already.

MITCHELL: Well, Governor, let me ask you about that. She said last night she didn't — or she said in the debate, she didn't realize that she was going to be running for president. That sort of defies all credulity for those of us who have watched her politically. She still made all of those paid speeches at a time when she was on a book tour and doing other things. It's hard to understand why she took that risk, because some of them were to controversial sponsors.

DEAN: Okay. So, I'll tell you, I don't believe she did think she was running for president. I was part of a campaign to get her to run for president. I wrote an editorial — an op-ed piece that was printed in December of 2014 — because I was afraid she wasn't gonna run for president, and I wanted her to run for president.  

MITCHELL: But is she on the wrong side of the zeitgeist, in the sense that there is anger at Wall Street? You've got this populist economic appeal that is reaching young people in particular — including many people who should be part of her base, given her history; her track record. So was it — was it a mistake politically to show herself to be so closely tied financially to the Wall Street interests?

DEAN: Look, this got mentioned on 'Morning Joe' the other day; and I said, well, I didn't think she'd done this. And Joe went and found out — you know, that she'd given speeches to colleges, for example. It turned out that, that money was either put up by donors and had nothing to do with the colleges — and a lot of it was given back to the Clinton Foundation, which is a major charity; which has done great things for people all over the world.

Why does Hillary Clinton have to put up with a double standard? I don't hear anybody asking Bernie Sanders for his transcripts for some speech he made with a labor union. And for Bernie — frankly, for Bernie to say that he doesn't have a super PAC, labor unions are super PAC's. Now they're super PAC's that Democrats like, so we don't go after labor unions.

But this is a double standard. I am tired of the attacks on Hillary Clinton's integrity. I think they're unwarranted; and there has not been a single time for the last 25 years, where the right wing has gone after it — and the media has dutifully followed up the inquiry — where they have found one thing — not Whitewater; not Vince Foster's suicide — none of this stuff. So why are we talking about this? Why are we not talking about the issues and what kind of a President Hillary Clinton is gonna be?

MITCHELL: Well, we're talking about it because Bernie Sanders has made it a campaign issue and she is — he is her only opponent. So, it's an issue in this campaign and it was an issue that she responded to last night; and most people think very effectively, in the debate.

DEAN: I think if Bernie Sanders wants to attack Hillary Clinton's integrity, that's up to him. I think that's a mistake.

MITCHELL: Do you think that's what he's doing?

DEAN: Yeah, of course I think that's what he's doing.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center