Diane, Ask A Question Already!

Why did we get up from watching Diane Sawyer’s talk feast with Howard and Judy Dean on ABC News’ “Primetime” last night and wonder if somebody forgot to serve us the entree? (If we’d wanted just a plate of crudités, we could have gotten our fill on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman.”)

As Eric Alterman noted today, not once during Sawyer’s face time with the Deans did she ask the candidate about a single, solitary genuine political issue. We learned that Dr. Judith Steinberg Dean makes house calls (may be tricky if her office is at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue), doesn’t have cable, and probably won’t be on anybody’s short list for after-dinner speakers. We also squirmed as Sawyer repeatedly badgered the Deans to confess that Howard has a temper. (Frankly, as Chatterbox’s Timothy Noah observed, Dean’s refusal to rise to the bait proves he’s a lot calmer than we’d have been in the same situation.)

As for Dean’s sense of humor, as evidenced by his Top 10 list, he’d probably better keep his day job — whatever it becomes.


Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Susan Q. Stranahan wrote for CJR.