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John Dickerson Under Fire

CBS Political News Director John Dickerson is defending himself from critics who say he has exposed his personal favoritism for President Obama.

Last week, Dickerson wrote a controversial piece for Slate that said Obama should “go for the throat!” and “declare war” on the Republican Party in his second term. An excerpt:

“Obama’s only remaining option is to pulverize. Whether he succeeds in passing legislation or not, given his ambitions, his goal should be to delegitimize his opponents. Through a series of clarifying fights over controversial issues, he can force Republicans to either side with their coalition’s most extreme elements or cause a rift in the party that will leave it, at least temporarily, in disarray.”

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh highlighted the column on his program yesterday. “This is your media,” he told the audience. “This is who they are. This is what they want to happen.  This is what they are advocating, and this is what they will support.”

FoxNews.com also weighed indescribing Dickerson’s language as “unusually harsh” on Republicans. FNC’s Greta Van Susteren asked on Twitter, “What do you think the media would say if a Fox employee penned an article like CBS John Dickerson?”

Dickerson followed up with another column Tuesday, explaining that he was describing, not advising Obama, on the “unmistakable” path he must take in his second term if he wants to be a “transformational” president. Dickerson also wrote that his first piece led to threats against his family.

WaPo‘s media critic Erik Wemple sides with Dickerson, saying that he was “dead-on correct” in his analysis and that his detractors are wrong.

On the other hand, it isn’t a shocker that penning a column with hostile language like “pulverize” and “go for the throat!” for a fairly liberal outlet like Slate would raise questions. (Slate and CBSNews.com have a business arrangement where they regularly cross post content.)

We’ve reached out to Dickerson for comment.

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