You can tell when a liberal politician is in deep sushi by two things:
a) The MSM starts buying into the criticism that conservatives and libertarians made for months prior to their discovery
b) The wounded target's political allies "circle the wagons" and start returning fire against the officeholder's critics
We are witnessing this scenario today unfolding in Connecticut
Led by intrepid columnist Kevin Rennie, the Hartford Courant has raised the decible level of dissatisfaction with Dodd, culminating with calling his AIG bonus blunder a "flip-flop" in a front page headline and having a liberal writer urge Dodd not to see re-election.
Since the Courant's reversal of fortune on a CT political icon whom they have supported for decades, the CT Democratic establishment did what it does best. Circle the wagons around their wounded leader. They've been doing a "dog and pony" show around the state where all the leading Democrats stand behind the embattled Dodd.
Including Attorney General Dick Blumenthal
Remember him. Once he was very upset with Countrywide Lending's predatory practices.
But when it came to Chris Dodd's deal with Countrywide, he gave the Senator a clean bill of health.
"We subpoena documents. We don't voluntarily necessarily accept representations made to us by companies like Countrywide," Blumenthal responded. "Chris Dodd has disclosed those documents, he has disclosed those facts and I believe the people of Connecticut will accept his explanation and elect him in 2010."
Hmm, Dick, I know I went to some jock colleges unlike you and your Harvard+ Yale pedigree. But, hmmm. a) you never subpoenaed Dodd's documents. and b) Dodd didn;t really disclose them--unless one hour of letting handpicked reporters view documents constitutes "disclosure" (Hmm...I'll try that next time I have a discovery dispute with the AG's office).
Here's what the Wall Street Journal had to say about Blumenthal's defense of Dodd.
Inappropriate doesn't begin to describe Mr. Blumenthal's appearance this week on Hartford's WFSB-TV. The AG compared Mr. Dodd, who was due to receive an estimated savings of $75,000 over the life of his two VIP mortgage loans, to borrowers allegedly duped by unscrupulous lenders. Mr. Blumenthal claimed that "there's no evidence of wrongdoing on [Mr. Dodd's] part any more than victims who were misled or deceived by Countrywide."
But I merely set the table here. What just happened really shows to what lengths the Democrats will use their levers of power to protect their own.
As we all well know, the Tribune Company is in bankruptcy. The Tribune owns the Courant and the Fox TV affiliate in Hartford, Channel 61. To survive the recession, the Tribune proposes to combine the news staff of the Courant and Fox 61.
And who's against this. Chris Dodd's loyal lackey Dick Blumenthal
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal wrote the owner of Tribune Wednesday saying that the merger of the Hartford Courant, WTIC-TV, and WTXX-TV may violate the Federal Communications Commissions ban on a company owning a television station and newspaper in the same market.
“I am concerned that allowing these entities to fully merge into one news and information operation goes well beyond what the FCC intended when it granted Tribune a two-year limited waiver,” Blumenthal wrote in this letter to Tribune Co. CEO Sam Zell.
Hmm, Dick, in case you haven;t noticed the newspaper business is not. hmm, in the best of health these days. Maybe saving the Courant might be...a good thing.
So what to make of AG Blumenthal's sudden concern over media consolidation?
Could this be an effort to suggest that fewer problems for Senator Dodd might mean fewer problems for the Courant's business plan?
We've never seen Democratic politicians manipulate the regulatory process to benefit their interests, now have we?
Perhaps Ivy League lawyer Blumenthal ought to reacquaint himself with this concept I learned at my non-elite law school
Think there's been a "chilling effect'" placed on the Courant's future coverage of Senator Dodd ?
I do. We'll see how interested the Left is in the First Amendment once liberals decide to chill conservatives. My guess. Not a peep.
A good night's sleep caused me to remember this prior incident when a media person got a little too hostile at Senator Dodd, and his corporate masters decided to "self-sanction" themselves --no doubt so as not to draw attention to folks who might bring in the FCC to scour their affairs.I wrote about it at the time. Here's some FoxNews coverage at the time