Witness Howard Dean's latest pronouncement:
The head of the Democratic Party said Wednesday that the best way to get presidential candidates to talk frankly about issues is to lock out the media.
During the Mortgage Bankers Association conference, a banker expressed frustration with candidates who only talk in sound bites and wondered how that could be changed. Howard Dean, once a presidential candidate, offered a simple solution.
"I suggest you have candidates in to meetings like this and bar the press," Dean said.
The Democratic National Committee chairman criticized media coverage, arguing that networks such as CBS used to put content first and didn't mind losing money for the prestige of delivering a quality news report. Dean said the days of Walter Cronkite are gone and the corporatization of the media has led to a desire to boost profits.
"The media has been reduced to info-tainment," Dean said. "Info-tainment sells, the problem is they reach the lowest common denominator instead of forcing a little education down our throats, which we are probably in need of from time to time."
I doubt Dean will suffer any kind of bad publicity for this remark. Very clearly, however, he believes that the press of any sort should not be allowed to challenge the things he says.