Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dodd To Go On O'Reilly Show To Defend YearlyKos

By Greg Sargent

Dem Presidential candidate Chris Dodd has agreed to go on Bill O'Reilly's show to defend YearlyKos against O'Reilly's ongoing assault against the gathering and against DailyKos, Dodd's spokesperson confirmed to Election Central.

The move is significant because it will make Dodd the first Presidential candidate to personally appear on a leading right-wing show for the explicit purpose of defending the liberal blogosphere. It's got to be seen as a sign of the times -- and of current shifts in Democratic politics -- that a Presidential candidate would view such an appearance in defense of Kos' liberal blogging community and the netroots in general as an asset to a Presidential campaign.

Dodd's spokesperson, Hari Sevugan, tells Election Central that the Senator will hit O'Reilly hard for his smear tactic of selecting a few isolated comments out of literally hundreds of thousands or even millions of comments to smear the whole site and the netroots in general.

"Democrats aren't going to be lectured to by Bill O'Reilly about the crudeness of language," Sevugan says. "Senator Dodd will point out O'Reilly's hypocrisy in singling out a handful of these comments and talking about how extreme they are when many of the comments O'Reilly himself has made have been equally extreme and disturbing."

"To pick three or four out of millions of comments in the blogosphere is patently unfair," Sevugan continued. "But it's not surprising that O'Reilly would employ such a tactic."

Hillary's spokesperson, Howard Wolfson, has already appeared on O'Reilly to fight back against his campaign against YearlyKos.

That Dodd would see the potential for political gain in such a move is representative of a larger development in Campaign 2008 that we've noted here before: The more and more frequent use by the Dem campaigns of aggressive pushback against right wing media figures, on behalf of themselves and others, to appeal to Dem primary voters in general and the netroots in particular. We've already seen Bill Clinton's on-air criticism of Fox News' Chris Wallace, the Edwards' campaign's repeated attacks on Ann Coulter, and the Dem boycotts of the Fox-sponsored debates.

And now Dodd's appearance on O'Reilly. The Dodd campaign -- like the other campaigns -- has aggressively courted the lib blogosphere, defending YearlyKos early on and signing up with the Reid-Feingold Iraq withdrawal amendment, among other things.

Dodd will appear on O'Reilly tomorrow night.

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