Let me add my voice to those criticizing the ABC News story on Dean and the state trooper on his security detail who apparently was guilty of spousal abuse. As nearly as I can tell, this person who worked on his security detail beat his wife. But there's no evidence in the piece that Dean knew it. Then, while this guy was beating his wife or after it had occurred, Dean filed a three page affidavit for use in a custody hearing attesting that the trooper, Dennis Madore, was a good father.
But, again, there's no evidence that Dean knew anything about the abuse! Or really, any evidence that he should have known. Without going into all the ins and outs of the story, Dean seems to have played it by the book at every point.
Now, certainly it's a bit of a touchy thing for Dean. But not because he did anything wrong, only because it's always awkward to have something ugly like that happen in your proximity.
But even in a pint-sized state like Vermont, governors have lots of people who work with them or for them. And they can't be expected to have a handle on what bad acts one or more of them might or might not be doing at home.
It's an impossible standard.
You might say that the piece can't be that unfair since I was able to glean this exculpatory information from it. And to an extent that's true. But the piece seems packaged to hit Dean with all sorts of ugly insinuations, and quite unfairly.
The article is headlined "Dean's Trooper" -- a pretty obvious reference to the Clinton trooper stories. And the whole story is associating him with the extremely (and rightly) hotbutton issue of wife-beating, even though, as I noted above, it's wholly unmerited.
Perhaps this story deserved a small write-up about a minor controversy in Vermont state politics. But as it was done, I don't see how you can say it wasn't deeply unfair and really a smear.