Howard Dean, a former presidential candidate and Hillary Clinton supporter, said on Wednesday that the press is not “legitimate.”
Appearing on “MSNBC Live” with Chris Jansing, Dean criticized the possibility of Clinton conducting a press conference suggesting, “Having a press conference, in my view is not the solution to this. You just get more of the same.”
“Answering legitimate questions from legitimate press is more of the same,” Jansing inquired.
“The trouble is the questions aren’t legitimate and the press isn’t legitimate,” Dean replied. “Look what AP did today. It was a disaster. They were called out by Vox, which is another press organ.” (Dean failed to mention that Vox is a highly liberal publication.)
“That’s the problem,” Dean said. “The press has gotten to be where it’s all about the lowest common denominator. Donald Trump wouldn’t be the nominee of the Republican Party if the press corps did their job but they focus on sensationalism, they don’t treat people in an even-handed way and that is why, in my view, Hillary Clinton should not do press conferences.”
However, it is “perfectly fine to talk to reporters, and she has talked to reporters a lot and she will some more,” Dean said. “But the press conference becomes a feeding frenzy, a one-upmanship on who can get the best story.”
Then turning his criticism to Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff, Dean said, “I’ll never forget if my campaign Michael Isikoff called me up one time and said I’m going to write a story that said you were engaged in insider trading unless I get your tax return for the last ten years. That is the kind of thing that nobody should have to be subjected to.”
“Well I’m not going to get into a back and forth about the press, most of whom are tremendously talented and hard working and fair people. Without getting into that debate, what’s wrong with answering questions,” Jansing asked.
If Clinton “can’t answer the questions of a press corps and answer them in a clear and forceful and decisive way, there is a legitimate question to be asked about, what’s the role of a president if not to be open with the members of the country and the people in the country via the press who are asking the questions i think a lot of people are asking,” Jansing added.
Clinton “has answered the questions many, many times. The problem is, it’s not good enough,” Dean claimed.
Dean’s feathers were ruffled by the AP after the news wire wrote, “More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money – either personally or through companies or groups – to the Clinton Foundation. It’s an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.”
Earlier in the day, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus called on Clinton to conduct a press conference.
“It’s time for Hillary Clinton to hold a press conference to explain the brazen conflicts of interest and obvious pay-to-play politics that went on in her State Department,” Priebus said.
“Clinton owes explanations for why she broke ethics agreements regarding foreign donations to her family foundation, gave preferential treatment to foundation donors as secretary of state, and why we should believe that her secret server wasn’t designed to cover up the shady pay-to-play politics at her State Department. We’ve been here before: in March of 2015 Clinton stood at the U.N. and lied directly to the American people about the nature of her secret server and the classified information she exposed — it’s time for her to face the press again, except she needs to tell the American people the truth they deserve this time. Failure to face the press will only deepen the question on voters’ minds: what exactly is she hiding?”