Senator Chris Dodd & the Media

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At a recent charity event I was approached by a supporter of Senator Chris Dodd who complained to me “we have to start a public relations campaign, the media coverage of Senator Dodd is hurting him.  Don’t you people like Senator Dodd?” she exclaimed.

I happen to like Senator Dodd.  I really do.  He’s always been friendly and easy to talk to and seems really interested in what people have to say.   I can count several Dodd supporters among my friends and one of my family members even donated to his campaign.    I remember feeling genuinely happy for the Senator when I covered his wedding, and when he became a father. 

For that matter, I also like many Republicans, in fact I emceed Governor Rell’s inaugural ball in 2007.   I also have a family member who donates to the GOP.   At a recent family gathering just after this past election in November, a quick head count revealed half voted for Barack Obama and exactly half voted for John McCain. 

I’ll even admit I  felt a sense of pride when someone from my state was running for president, and wondered what it would be like if Dodd were elected president.   We would probably get invited to the White House for a special media briefing as was the case with local reporters who covered George Bush and Barack Obama, and East Haddam would become the Summer White House.    Hartford might have been the site of the Chris Dodd Presidential Library.   There is little doubt a Dodd presidency would have been good for Connecticut.

By all accounts, Chris Dodd has been a good Senator and effective for Connecticut, but as a journalist, I still have to ask the tough questions of an elected official even if I like him or her, and even if that  politician is popular and successful.

This the case with Senator Dodd.  This past week on Face the State the chairwoman of the Connecticut Democratic Party said the media should stop covering the mortgage controversy, calling it a non-issue.   We just can’t do that.

I work for you, the viewers, who have made it very clear you want to know more about the mortgage issue.    To his credit, the Senator allowed a small group of reporters to look at select mortgage documents, but that was not enough.    The Wall Street Journal, whose reporters certainly know much more about mortgages and finance than I do, was not invited that day.

If I were his media advisor I would allow reporters to make copies of what they want, and let those reporters show them to a mortgage expert.   If there is nothing to hide, then why is the Senator refusing complete access?    If a mortgage expert working on behalf of Channel 3 was granted unlimited access and found nothing, then the issue would be a non-issue. 

This once popular senator has watched his support and popularity erode since last summer, in part due to the mortgage controversy.   Just about every reporter I have spoken with just can’t understand how the Senator would let his happen.  Many Democrats echo that sentiment, telling me if the Senator did nothing wrong, then why hurt yourself by refusing to make everything public?

The Senator has turned a sure thing into a race he may very well lose.    It will be interesting to see what he does next.

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12 Responses

  1. [...] Dennis House of WFSB and Face the State has a post worth reading about his role as a journalist in covering someone he [...]

  2. We want to see them all. We are entitled to see them all. We should have been provided copies of every single page, not just a preselected number of them. Dodd is as corrupt as all the rest of his cronies who have been allowed to get away with too many things for way too long. We, the public, must rise up out of our stupor and begin the process of bringing everything out into the light of day so all can see the blatant hypocrisy being displayed by each and every one of them. In particular here, Chris Dodd, one of those who has allowed this mortgage debacle to unfold and now behaves as though it is his sacred duty to fix it. How hypocritical can you get! We want to see this pursued to the nth degree by you, Dennis, and by every reporter out there who is willing and able to do so.

  3. I WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED YOU DID NOT ASK HIM ABOUT THOSE RECENT FINDINGS ON potential FRAUDULENT ACTIVITIES REGARDING THE PURCHASE OF A CONDO OUTSIDE THE USA. MUCH LIKE THE CONGRESSMAN RANGLE FRAUD PURCHASES HE TOO RECEIVED AN ADVANTAGEOUS DEAL NONE OF THE CITIZENS OF US WOULD GET. BUT HE AS SENATOR GETS ALL THESE PERKS, VERY SUSPICIOUS TO ME. WHEN WILL THE INVESTIGATIONS BEGIN???

    ALSO POINT OUT TO SEN. DODD HE IS ALWAYS RUNNING FOR OFFICE -HE HAS THE ADVANTAGE OF BEING IN THE OFFICE OF SENATOR AND CAN SPIN HIS WAY THOUGH ANY FRAUDULENT ACTIVITYM WHILE MAKING UP EXCUSES FOR HIS BEHAVIOR. I AM A DEMOCRAT AND WILL NOT VOTE FOR HIM EVER AGAIN.

  4. Dennis, your interview left me ill……you had some decent questions, but you played “softball” with him……you had such opportunites for strong follow-up to his canned answers…….he was dressed rehered well fir you……and you left the fish off the hook, at every turn……..you let us down…..for example, when he said he had an opportunity for a better deal on the mortgage, but turned it down……what a lie…..no person of integrity would turn down a “better” deal……he wanted to pay more to pay more—-give me a break…..he should name the better deals…..and show us the one he3 signed……you let him slide on that, and so many more…..I am disappointed in your interview….thank you for trying…..

  5. Your interview of Dodd today, kept my spouse busy as I kept picking up things to throw at the T.V. and she kept taking them away from me.

    Why is it, that so called “Emmy Award Winning” guys like you are afraid to ask real questionsof this crook? The Wall Street JOurnal referred to Dodds little scam of releasing certain papers related to his Countrywide Scandal, “Peek a Boo!”. You let him make it look like he did full disclosure. He didn’t! Dodd lied about the whole incident and you let him!

    With regards to the “Downe Pardon”, Dodd arranged for this guy to circumvent the Justice Departments normal vetting process, and for the Record, at the time, Down hadn’t payed his fines. There is also indication that the fines owed were dismissed by the pardon.

    Now with regard to the Irish Cottage…Dodd kept refering to his “friend” who he had purchased that Cottage with. That friend has a name, and it is Kessinger! Dodd met Kessinger through Downe, and it was just too inconvenient that Dodd bought Kessinger out for a token sum. Since when does the buyer of something come up with the purchase price? My experience is usually the seller has an asking price and doesn’t just throw it up for what looks good to the media. Dodd is an illusionist, and you pandered to his poorperformance as a Senator, you gave him a walk on the scandals, and bascially your whole performance came acrossed as “Orchestrated”. I don’t think anyone with half a brain bought it! You are not an “Emmy” class jouranlist…

  6. Nice interview Dennis. Dodd is a stand up guy who we can all trust. he spends everyday fighting for Connecticut and we have a lot to thank him for.

    its too bad that the Republicans are more concerned about politics than issues. Thank God Chris Dodd understands our problems and cares about solutions rather than politics.

    He’s never hidden anything from us and everyone’s known about his cottage in Ireland for about 15 years. Its obvious that the GOP are trying to reintroduce something we’ve known about for ever. Republican attacks are provably false and I’m just glad House didn’t take their bait and conducted a fair and balanced interview.

  7. LMAO!!!!!! Dodd a stand up guy? Instead of helping our State out, he moves his kids and wife to Iowa and campaigns for a primary that he embarrassingly lost. Yet again the media gives this guy a pass, but rest assured a Republican would be hounded to no end. No this is not a stand up guy, but a corrupt politician and scam artist.

  8. I am a Democrat. We cannot waste money on another election of Chris Dodd. I doubt if this arrogant man could ever be embarrassed. He feels that he IS the law. He says that he is fighting for us. Who is he kidding? I could puke when I hear that. The last straw for me was seeing his poor little wifey on TV telling the people (me ) that they didn’t know that they were getting special treatment with the loans. How stupid do they think people are? Why do they always drag the wives onto the public arena when they get into trouble? What a whimp.
    Get out.

  9. I’ll vote for Dodd. Why? To increase the hand-wringing amongst those who vote Republican but cry about a Democrat’s wrong doing.

    The people who got us Bush because they were crapping their pants over terrorists, gay marriages and abortion deserve every financial hardship that can be mustered.

    Compassionate God-fearing Connecticut citizens do NOT vote for Republicans.

  10. Hey Bill, after reading todays news 3-19-09, I wonder if you still think Dodd is such a stand up guy? Soon, everything he says will have to be fed to him from a teleprompter so he can keep track of the lies!

  11. Fat Sean

    I’m gonna laugh my ass off when your boy Dodd loses next year. And you can take that to the bank.

  12. Why isn’t WFSB making this a front page headline???
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/03/dodds_wife_a_former_director_o.html

    Are you kidding me? He is up to his armpits with AIG. How on earth can the citizens of this State continue to defend this guy?? He is nothing but corrupt to the core.

    For the blind Dems that post here, what’s it going to take for you to see the light? This guy just needs to go.

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