Diane Sawyer writes in The "Dean Scream" -- The Version of Reality You Didn't See.. or Hear on TV: What we heard on the air was not a reflection of the way it sounded in the room. Dean's scream could barely be heard above the deafening crowd. Here's video from the crowd to underscore the point.

Comments from network executives:
CBS News: "Individually we may feel okay about our network, but the cumulative effect for viewers with 24-hour cable coverage is -- it may have been overplayed and, in fact, a disservice to Dean and the viewers." -- Andrew Heyward, President - CBS News

ABC News: "It's always a danger that we'll use good video too much."
-- David Westin, President - ABC News

CNN: "We've all been wrestling with this. If we had it to do over again, we'd probably pull ourselves back."
-- Princell Hair, General Manager - CNN

Fox News: "It got overplayed a bit, and the public clearly thought that, too, and kept him alive for another round."
-- Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO - Fox News

I have to say, I'm impressed that Sawyer went to such lengths to correct the Scream misperception and own up to the media wankfest. Of course, National Review has their heads up their asses. They can't seem to fathom the media trying to correct themselves:

Diane's apology demonstrates that the Mickey Mouse network is much more sensitive to complaints about damaging an ultraliberal candidate with an anger-management problem than it is about presenting an appearance of objectivity.

Shame on you. Do you guys really think they're caving in to a mildly liberal candidate, after they've shafted him at every opportunity? Here's a novel idea: Let's encourage the media to examine themselves!

Jeff Jarvis, still riding his Dean naysayer train, believes the scream was calculated. C-c-c-comedy! *cue chorus line dancers* I'm rather proud of my sarcastic response:

Of course, didn't you hear? That's why Joe Trippi was fired. The campaign had lengthy strategic meetings, voice coaches were brought in, test audiences. Dean's scream was carefully, deliberately, almost mathematically calculated. Just like everything that comes out of his mouth. The man is practically devoid of emotion, incapable of an off-the-cuff remark or reaction. He's a master of media manipulation – television in particular. Really no crowd chemistry whatsoever. Yup, he's a robot.

January 30, 2004 at 05:50 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink


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I don't know what's worse, the fact that this apology is probably too little too late, or the idea that the media knows they can make or break people and they continue to make the wrong choices. I would drop dead if the sensationalism stoppped. Yet another reason why the blogosphere needs to continue to be seen as the emerging news media of the people is because we don't need to cater to the ratings. I mean, we all know how important it is that Judy Dean have the right hairstyle, and wears the proper designer clothing. That's why you're doing this, right Chuck?

Posted by: Tim at Jan 31, 2004 2:31:58 AM