The Washington Post "Reliable Sources" gossip column led off in the upper left-hand corner on Monday with shocking comments from Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean "razzing his journalist hosts" at the Saturday night Gridiron Club dinner:
Fox News said, 'Stalin thought he was right when he did the same thing.' That was painful.... If anybody knows about Joseph Stalin's tactics, it would be the people at Fox News....
It's not the first item in the online version, perhaps because it's a quote, and not a written report. But it's definitely shocking, even from Howard Dean. Does he think that Roger Ailes has his own KGB, and maybe a Gulag in the basement?
The subject was how Dean suggested that if people don't want politicians to talk in sound bites, you could bar the press. (Nothing gets the press upset faster than the words "bar the press.") Here's the complete Dean quote as it appeared in the column by Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts:
"I was asked how we can get politicians to stop speaking in sound bites and level with people, and [responded] 'I suggest you bar the press.' Apparently, that didn't go over too well. . . . [National Press Club prez] Jerry Zremski asked, 'Has Dean read the First Amendment?' Well, Jerry, I have . . . and you can keep your guns. Fox News said, 'Stalin thought he was right when he did the same thing.' That was painful. . . . If anybody knows about Joseph Stalin's tactics, it would be the people at Fox News. . . . How is it that this dinner is called off the record? [A reporter] explained it to me this way: Off the record means you can't write about it for Sunday, you have to wait until Monday. . . . Seriously, though . . ." -- Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean razzing his journalist hosts at Saturday's Gridiron Club dinner. Ba-dum-bum.