A Fox Democrat delivers

By Geraldine Sealey
Published February 20, 2004 10:03PM (UTC)
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The Daily Howler excoriates "Fox Democrat" Susan Estrich for her "analysis" on Fox News of how concerned Democrats supposedly are over last week's Drudge-driven non-story about John Kerry's non-affair. Her proof: The "jittery" Wisconsin voters who gave John Edwards a surprisingly close second-place, not because of his message on jobs and trade, but because of swirling rumors about John Kerry, in her view.

"It remains to be seen, maybe this was all a Republican dirty trick. Maybe there's no truth to it," said Estrich, not willing to close the book on last week's Drudge-Limbaugh smear shenanigans. "But I think one of the factors that may have been playing in Wisconsin was the jitteriness among primary voters that maybe we don't know everything we need to know. If there is any truth to this, we don't want to go down this road again  That got Democrats nervous." (So all of those primary voters in Wisconsin who answered "jobs" when exit pollsters asked them what their No. 1 concern was, really meant to say "that Drudge rumor.")

When Brit Hume suggested that so far, Kerry has not been terribly bruised by the rumor-mongering, Estrich cut him off to toss out another half-baked story, this one based on a five-year-old Boston Herald article (read about it in the Howler excerpt if you want). All of this, Estrich said, was just too much for Democrats. "Ive got to tell you, Brit, it was a lousy weekend for people in the Democratic Party who've lived through the Clinton business for a lousy couple of days."

On Daily Howler, Bob Somerby let Estrich have it. "As we Democrats like to call it! It may have been a lousy weekend for Dems -- but it was clearly a great time for Estrich. She and her pals simply burned up the lines, recalling old tales about John. But then, that's what Estrich is paid for. Indeed, we remember that recent New Hampshire evening when a certain well-oiled Fox pundit staggered over to the comedians' table and told us all -- two separate times! -- about how well they paid her at Fox. We all felt good for Susan then -- and last night, we saw her deliver the goods. She brought up a pointless old gossip report  As we Democrats like to call it, Susan Estrich played dirt-bag again."

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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