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Daily Camera - Columnists
The Daily Camera, Boulder, Colorado
Incurious George doesn't read
By Dan Thomasson, Scripps Howard News Service
December 20, 2003
Will Rogers said that all he knew is what he read in the newspapers. That certainly is not true of George W. Bush, who verified what has been suspected for some time. He doesn't read them. . . . That somewhat startling revelation was about the only news to emerge from a highly touted one-hour interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer. It was a curious mixture of defiance, anger, boredom and strained humor that seemed to reflect Bush's true nature somewhat better than the rehearsed appearances that are the usual way Americans see him. . . .
Few White Houses in modern memory have been as tightly managed as the current one. But no president most of us old-timers can remember would be foolish enough not to peruse the day's happenings in the newspapers, where there still is a whole lot more hard news detail than on television and, contrary to popular opinion, most of it isn't biased.
A president's depending solely on what aides tell him can lead to serious problems. Their slant isn't always what the president should be hearing.
Even Bush's father still reads the newspapers and particularly the columns. I know because he took sharp exception to one of mine that ran in his hometown paper, The Houston Chronicle. His reaction came in one of those "from the office of" letters he obviously authorized or dictated, and was not going to give me the satisfaction of signing himself. His chief of staff got that privilege. Under the circumstances, I didn't reply. But at least he was paying attention.
As for commentary and editorials, how does a president tell the good guys from the bad guys (from his point of view) if he doesn't bother to read them? How does he know the difference between those who will give him a fair hearing or support a position and those who won't, no matter what he does? There is even the possibility that he can learn something important from those who are the most critical of him.
White House Memo: Remember ’Weapons of Mass Destruction’? For Bush, They Are a Nonissue
The New York Times
By RICHARD W. STEVENSON
Published: December 18, 2003
In the debate over the necessity for the war in Iraq, few issues have been more contentious than whether Saddam Hussein possessed arsenals of banned weapons, as the Bush administration repeatedly said, or instead was pursuing weapons programs that might one day constitute a threat.
On Tuesday, with Mr. Hussein in American custody and polls showing support for the White House's Iraq policy rebounding, Mr. Bush suggested that he no longer saw much distinction between the possibilities.
"So what's the difference?" he responded at one point as he was pressed on the topic during an interview by Diane Sawyer of ABC News. . . .
When it came to describing the weapons program, Mr. Bush never hedged before the war. "If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today — and we do — does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger and develops even more dangerous weapons?" Mr. Bush asked during a speech in Cincinnati in October 2002. . . .
"And if he doesn't have weapons of mass destruction?" Ms. Sawyer asked the president, according to a transcript provided by ABC.
"Diane, you can keep asking the question," Mr. Bush replied. "I'm telling you — I made the right decision for America because Saddam Hussein used weapons of mass destruction, invaded Kuwait. But the fact that he is not there is, means America's a more secure country."
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
The Sock Puppet Speaks
posted by Charles2
Diane [Sawyer] asked him about the WMD claims and tried to get Shrubbie to distinguish between Hussein actually having had WMDs and there being the threat that he might acquire them. Bush said something that just chilled me:"What's the difference?" Now, either he really doesn't know the difference - a possibility I'm increasing likely to believe - or he does and is unwilling, in the context of the reason for invasion, to admit to there being a difference. I'm not sure which is worse. . . .
We really are, all partisan BS aside, saddled with an incurious, unintelligent, born with a silver spoon mamma's boy. He barely hides his contempt for the average person - not only in his smirking demeanor but in the policies he allows to be promulgated in his name. And he is so unintelligent that he can only parrot those key phrases that are placed in his head by his handlers; any attempt to speak off-the-cuff are consistently disastrous and only serve to make him look even less intelligent.
News Tribune | 12/07/2003 | Letters to the Editor
Many of us, unlike our woefully uncurious President Bush, actually read, get our news from multiple sources and can think for ourselves.
Federation Of Teachers - Labor Days
Bush lies By JACK NEWFIELD December 3, 2003
This article was published elsewhere as part of a long PDF file.
But perhaps the president doesn’t really know what his government is doing to New York’s economy and well-being. I say this because Bush himself seemed to say in an oft-quoted Sept. 22 interview that he doesn’t read the newspapers.
“I glance at the headlines,” Bush said, “but rarely read the stories.” He added that he relies on his staff to brief him on current events.
This quote illuminated a basic flaw in the Bush presidency. The president is not curious. He has no interest in competing points of view, or the free flow of information.
Under Bush, facts don’t determine policy. Policy determines “facts.” . . .
It is a little bit frightening that the most powerful person on the planet is so incurious, so closed off, that he is happy to get his information in censored, pre-digested tidbits from his staff. What assistant to the president wants to be the messenger of bad news to a leader living in denial?
December 1, 2003 issue
Copyright © 2003 The American Conservative
The Conservative Case Against George W. Bush
By Doug Bandow, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan.
But this president deserves to be criticized. Sharply. By anyone who believes in limited, constitutional government.
First, George W. Bush, despite laudable personal and family characteristics, is remarkably incurious and ill read. Gut instincts can carry even a gifted politician only so far. And a lack of knowledge leaves him vulnerable to simplistic remedies to complex problems, especially when it comes to turning America into the globe’s governess. . . .
The president and his aides have given imperiousness new meaning. Officials are apparently incapable of acknowledging that their pre-war assertions about Iraq’s WMD capabilities were incorrect; indeed, they resent that the president is being questioned about his administration’s claims before the war.
ATTITUDES: Bubble Boy Bush
Posted by Jerome Doolittle at November 24, 2003 07:58 PM
From a profile of Ahmed Chalabi in today’s Washington Post:“Nobody knows how the president will finally come down on Chalabi. Right now Bush reportedly remains unconvinced that Chalabi is the one to lead Iraq into a democratic future. Jordan's King Abdullah didn't help matters: When he met with Bush recently, he is said to have delivered a broadside against his old nemesis, who was convicted of embezzling millions from a Jordanian bank. According to a friend of Abdullah's, the president reacted to the information with outrage at Chalabi.”Bush only learned recently, and from the King of Jordan, that the Pentagon’s favorite Iraqi is a fugitive from a 22-year old conviction for bank embezzlement?
Such a thing would be possible only if Bush were a man so lazy and incurious that he never read a newspaper. He has claimed to be just such a man, true enough, but I took that to be an expression of contempt for the press. After all, nobody could really be such a glutton for ignorance.
TO THE EDITOR
San Francisco Chronicle
Saturday, November 22, 2003
Letter reproduced in full. We could have used all bold.
Bush's bubble presidency
Editor -- President Bush, while in London for yet another photo opportunity to be used in his re-election campaign, was asked why people hate him so much -- and his reply, "I don't think they do'' -- is sadly illustrative of the bubble presidency he personifies. This is a man and a regime which doesn't want to be bothered by facts.
If intelligence about Iraq differs from your preconceptions, ignore it. If a government report talks about global warming, delete it. If citizen inquiries under the Freedom of Information Act might embarrass, frustrate the purpose and intent of the act. This is a man who gets his news about the world from his sycophants, not from the press or other media. Why bother with intellectual curiosity, when you have rigid and uninformed belief to guide you.
What a sickening spectacle!
A president should read a newspaper
November 17, 2003
Gibbons is a senior editorial writer and a member of the Editorial Board of the Houston Chronicle.
Throughout his presidential campaign and first years in office, President Bush has had to combat the impression that he is an intellectually lazy, incurious, ill-read, semi-empty vessel. Recently he all but confirmed the suspicion when he told a television interviewer that he never reads a newspaper beyond the occasional headline. . . .
During his recent travels abroad, the president confessed amazement after learning that a couple of billion Asians and Europeans and Muslims throughout the world resent his foreign policies and are beginning to think less of the United States. Condi must have forgotten to tell him.
Lindorff: Bush's Brand of Leadership
November 14 / 23, 2003
Bush's Brand of Leadership
Putting Himself First
By DAVE LINDORFF
One of the more amazing things to contemplate in this bizarre polity called the United States is that George Bush, probably the least engaged, most willfully ignorant, and most bungling and disastrously inept president the country has ever had, is still viewed by many Americans as a "strong leader." . . .
At the same time, Bush's CIA has had to leak to the press its latest secret report on the deteriorating situation in the war in Iraq because the Agency was reportedly worried that its highly critical report wouldn't reach the attention of the president if they went through normal channels. (Of course, given this remarkably incurious president's admission that he doesn't read the papers, and gets his news entirely through his staff, he may not even know about the CIA leak.)
Politics Journal -- Pundit Pap
for Nov. 9, 2003
Attack of the Attacking Attackers
by the Pundit Pap Team
As the Worm Turns
by Dash Riprock
No matter how badly our forces are slaughtered, the Chimp is going to tough it out. In other words, he has ruled out ever acknowledging failure or even pulling back or a change in strategy. Even if deaths reach the thousands, says Smirk, I'm a tough guy, and I'll never stop sending them to their deaths. My pals and I want the plunder of this war, and damn it, no amount of American lives lost, and even plunging the economy into permanent tailspin is not too high a price for the rest of you to pay. Facts? Reality? Only suckers pay attention to those. I'm a tough, tough, courageous leader. So courageous that I'm scared silly to admit even the smallest misstep. So courageous that I won't change a thing even in the face of horrible failure. . . .
What Bill Clinton has said is true. Sane people, when they find themselves in a hole, stop digging. Bush and his crew though, finding themselves in a hole that's getting deeper by the minute, demand a larger shovel and make us and our children and their children pay for it. . . .
[Eleanor] Clift noted that Incurious George's beyond-annoying penchant for casting this whole struggle in biblically vast terms as some struggle between good and evil, and attempts to sell the idea that they'll somehow establish a functioning democracy in Iraq -- while at the same time refusing to acknowledge by his presence at their return a single US casualty of the war -- is just outrageous. "If his dream comes true", Clift suggests, "I don't think any of us will be around to see it." Let's hope to hell that the world never has to endure the results of Smirk's "dream".
It's not that he's mean. It's just that when it comes to seeing how his policies affect people, George W. Bush doesn't have a clue.
By Molly Ivins
Mother Jones November/December 2003
"I saw the report that children in Texas are going hungry. Where?" he demanded. "No children are going to go hungry in this state. You'd think the governor would have heard if there are pockets of hunger in Texas." You would, wouldn't you? That is the point at which ignorance becomes inexcusable. In five years, Bush had never spent time with people in the colonias, South Texas' shantytowns; he had never been to a session with Valley Interfaith, a consortium of border churches and schools and the best community organization in the state. There is no excuse for a governor to be unaware of this huge reality of Texas. . . .
If there were a rationale Bush could express, it would be one thing, but to watch him not see, not make the connection, is another thing entirely. Welfare, Medicare, Social Security, food stamps -- horrors, they breed dependency. Whereas inheriting millions of dollars and having your whole life handed to you on a platter is good for the grit in your immortal soul? What we're dealing with here is a man in such serious denial it would be pathetic if it weren't damaging so many lives. . . . Bush's real problem is not deception, but self-deception.
Books: Imperial America : The Bush Assault on the World Order
Imperial America : The Bush Assault on the World Order
by John Newhouse (Author)
Excellent book criticizing Bush foreign policy, October 31, 2003
Reviewer: Gaetan Lion from Mill Valley, CA USA
The author is most critical of Bush. He knows little about foreign affairs. He is not intellectually curious. He has less knowledge of history than most other presidents. Regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict, an official mentioned that "he does not have the knowledge or the patience to learn this issue enough to have an end destination in mind."
Intelligence failures--and lots more--under scrutiny
Georgie Anne Geyer, Universal Press Syndicate
Oct 31, 2003
The Chicago Tribune's archives are not free and shamefully do not provide unique URLs to abstracts. E-mail webmaster for full text.
Indeed, the "war party" created what are called "stovepipes," or ways to get their special-interest information directly to the top.
This story--which I believe to be true--is told in another brilliant chapter of the saga, "The Stovepipe," by long-time investigator Seymour M. Hersh in The New Yorker magazine.
Hersh outlines carefully how, in office after office of the radical neo-conservatives who surround and isolate this incurious president, legitimate intelligence flows were cut off.
Neo-con John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control, essentially froze out intelligence that didn't agree with his thinking; in the Pentagon, Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, William Luti, Richard Perle and their group started their own little intelligence council, eerily named the "Office of Special Plans," designed to circumvent regular intelligence agencies and to "stovepipe" intelligence of their own liking to the White House, especially to and through Vice President Dick Cheney.
mountain express : Look who’s badgering Bush — Commentary by
Pat Murphy : For the week of October 29 - November 4, 2003
idaho's largest weekly newspaper
serving the sun valley, idaho resort area communities
McCain has landed several bruising blows on the White House. (Since Bush boasts he doesn’t read newspapers or watch TV, but relies on "objective" staff briefings for what’s happening in the world, the incurious president presumably just nods when aides tell him what should be done. Aides therefore are masterminds of controversial policies.)
In this week’s Newsweek, McCain accuses the White House of conducting the same sort of misinformation campaign about Iraq as was conducted during the Vietnam War. What’s happening on the ground in Iraq isn’t what the public is told, he charges.
McCain also has uttered the heretical—global warming is real. Horrors! Bush’s "objective"; advisers (a) reject global warming studies and (b) believe industry has a laissez faire right to poison the atmosphere.
The New York Times opinion
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: October 28, 2003
According to The New York Times, President Bush was genuinely surprised to learn from moderate Islamic leaders that they had become deeply distrustful of American intentions. The report on the "perception gap" suggests that the leader of the war on terror has no idea how badly that war — which must, ultimately, be a war for hearts and minds — is going.
Mr. Bush's ignorance may reflect his lack of curiosity: "The best way to get the news," he says, "is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff." Two words: emperor, clothes.
But there's something broader going on: a sort of willful ignorance, supposedly driven by moral concerns but actually reflecting domestic politics. Surely it's important to understand how others see us, but a new, post 9/11 version of political correctness has made it difficult even to discuss their points of view. Any American who tries to go beyond "America good, terrorists evil," who tries to understand — not condone — the growing world backlash against the United States, faces furious attacks delivered in a tone of high moral indignation. The attackers claim to be standing up for moral clarity, and some of them may even believe it. But they are really being used in a domestic political struggle.
Horizons: Bolivia - Some Additional Background
October 27, 2003
As [Jeffrey] Sachs [director, Earth Institute at Columbia University and author, Washington Post story Call It Our Bolivian Policy Of Not-So-Benign Neglect] demonstrates and as [Marcela] Sánchez [author, Washington Post story Second Chance in Bolivia] implies, this administration is so bereft of new ideas, so intellectually uncurious and so foolishly consistent, that it is really difficult to imagine them changing their approach now.
Days of Shame: A Countdown of the Low Points in the Bush Presidency
:: Big Picnic :: Events & Opinion
Monday, October 27, 2003
Sept. 22, 2003 On this day, Bush gave an interview for FOX news. . . .
He goes on to explain that he doesn't read newspapers because the news, as filtered by his staff, is more "objective". This assertion, of course, is patently absurd, and it's disheartening to have the president's total lack of intellectual curiosity confirmed.
episode #14: "Uncurious George" (Shockwave Flash Animation, 258K)
Story and Art by Louis Dunn. Animation by Steve Campbell.
Shows Bush saying, "I rely on Condi for the details. See, she's out MAKING the news." Cut to a protest against Bush and Condoleeza Rice.
GLOBAL CULTURE & POLITICS
October 24, 2003
Margo Kingston's article worth a read for insight on how Australians received Bush. Subplot: the ruling coalition attempted to cover up the lack of unanimous support for Bush among Aussie MPs.
Margo Kingston reviews the Bush speech to the Australian Parliament in SMH [Sydney Morning Herald]:George Bush's speech was almost contemptuous in its tired banality. He treated us as children, he told us a simplistic fairy story laced with cheap flattery. Recalling John's visit to George in Texas, he said: "You might remember that I called him a man of steel. That's Texan for fair dinkum."So strike up another malapropism for Bush, as in "Just five months ago, your prime minister was a distinguished visitor to my ranch in Crawford, Texas." You might remember that I called him a man of steel. That's Texan for fair dinkum."; Why is it so hard for him to get it right? He may be incurious and dyslexic, but he could surely get some decent speech-writers and fact-checkers?
In Australia, fair dinkum means you're for real, that you're up front and honest. Man of steel doesn't mean that. Was it meant to be a joke? The Coalition laughed.
- Bill Flick
October 21, 2003
If the president doesn't keep track of the news in the papers and on TV, as he said the other day, that makes him Uncurious George, right?
us greens.org: multi-media of,
by and for the us greens: weblog
October 19, 2003
At almost every stop in President Bush’s Far Eastern junket he was shielded from viewing thousands of protestors who carried signs declaring Bush was a terrorist. As Bush admitted he doesn’t read newspapers, will his handlers make him aware of these protests? If so, how do they explain these anti- Bush demonstrations to the president? Surely the international communist conspiracy bogeyman doesn’t apply any longer. It’s not a Muslim phenomenon either, as demonstrators in predominantly Christian (including the U.S.) and Buddhist countries also consider Bush the world’s leading terrorist.
Recently the Bolivian president was forced to resign in the face of demonstrations against their country’s proposed gas pipeline to the U.S. How are Bush’s handlers explaining this to the president? What is going on here—why has near- universal U.S. support immediately after 911 morphed into global enmity towards Bush? If “incurious George” was allowed to see and know about the world’s reaction to him, how would Bush explain it to us?
Filter Tips by Michael
Posted Thursday, Oct. 16, 2003, at 11:08 AM PT
Every president lives in a cocoon of advisers who filter reality for him, but it's stunning that this president actually seems to prefer getting his take on reality that way.
Bush apparently thinks (if that is the word) that the publicly available media contaminate the news with opinion but Condi Rice and Andy Card are objective reporters. Anyone who has either been a boss or had a boss will find it easier, knowing that Bush believes this, to understand how he can also believe that things are going swimmingly in Iraq.
President Who Doesn't Read Newspapers
October 16, 2003
A President Who Doesn't Read Newspapers
Helen Thomas writes about President Bush's disconnect with the rest of the country, which she partially attributes to the fact that he doesn't read newspapers.
Just the facts ma'am
Posted by Bob on 10.16.03
Bush is often described as unintellectual and incurious, and I agree with both of these charges. What I find troubling in these quotes, however, is that Bush lacks the basic understanding of critical reading that my worst students also lack. He doesn't seem to get that after the sixth grade there's little useful difference between fact and opinion -- that as a grown-up he should have to take in the facts, the analysis, the opinion -- everything -- and form his own understanding of the truth. He doesn't want to acknowledge that intelligence reports are like weather forecasts: neither pure fact nor pure opinion. Bush wants to absorb uncritically, and uncritical absorption is the first (and most difficult) thing we try to stop our students from lapsing into. And like our worst students, Bush sees nothing wrong with any of it.
Filter Tips By Michael
Thursday, Oct. 16, 2003
Every president lives in a cocoon of advisers who filter reality for him, but it's stunning that this president actually seems to prefer getting his take on reality that way.
Bush apparently thinks (if that is the word) that the publicly available media contaminate the news with opinion but Condi Rice and Andy Card are objective reporters.
The Rutherford Institute
October 15, 2003
Is Bush Leapfrogging the National Media or the Truth?
There is also an irony involved here. In an interview with FOX News’ Brit Hume that was aired on September 22, Bush was asked, “How do you get your news?” “I glance at the headlines just to kind of get a flavor for what’s moving,” the President responded. “I rarely read the stories and get briefed by people who are probably read the news themselves.”
Bush went on to clarify why he doesn’t read newspapers. “You know, look, I have great respect for the media. I mean, our society is a good, solid democracy because of a good, solid media,” he said. “But I also understand that a lot of times there’s opinions mixed in with news.” All of this begs the question: how can Bush say, as he did last week, “We’re making great progress—I don’t care what you read about,” when he himself does not read?
TIME Magazine Archive -- Why Bush Angers Liberals -- Oct. 13, 2003
We have our reasons, and that is why we're so pragmatic about 2004
By MICHAEL KINSLEY
We also thought that Bush's apparent affability, and his lack of knowledge or strong views or even great interest in policy issues, would make him temperate on the ideological thermometer. (Psst! We also thought, and still think, he's pretty dumb — though you're not supposed to say it and we usually don't. And we thought that this too would make him easier to swallow.) It turns out, though, that Bush's, um, unreflectiveness shores up his ideological backbone. An adviser who persuades Bush to adopt Policy X does not have to be worried that our President will keep turning it over in his mind, monitoring its progress, reading and thinking about the complaints of its critics, perhaps even re-examining it on the basis of subsequent developments, and announce one day that he prefers Policy Y. This does not happen. He knows what he thinks, and he has to be told it only once.
This dynamic works on facts just as it does on policies, making Bush a remarkably successful liar. This too is unexpected. There seemed to be something guileless and nonneurotic about Bush when we first made his acquaintance. It was the flip side of his, um, dimness and seemed to promise frankness if nothing else. But guess what? Ignorance and lack of curiosity are terrific fortifications for dishonesty. . . . Bush neither knew nor cared whether Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction or close connections to al-Qaeda when he started to say so, and once he started, mere lack of evidence was not going to make him stop.
A Tale of Two Fathers
The New York Times
By MAUREEN DOWD
October 12, 2003
Also appeared in the Albany Times Union October 12; the International Herald Tribune and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette October 13; and the Florida Sun-Sentinel and Harrisburg Patriot News October 14.
The incurious George, who has said he prefers to get his information from his inner circle rather than newspapers or TV, may finally be waking up to the downside of such self-censorship. You can end up hearing a lot of bogus, self-serving garbage from Ahmad Chalabi, via Mr. Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz, instead of unpleasant reality.
Incurious George /
Bush's Weaknesses Are Beginning to Show
October 12, 2003
The W we see today, with falling poll ratings, a mess in Iraq, a foreign-policy team at war with itself, and a sputtering economy, is the W many feared when votes were still being counted in Florida: an inexperienced president, not able to control his high-powered cabinet secretaries, blindly repeating his tax-cut mantra no matter what the long-term consequences, defending a war of choice even as body bags - returned to the country almost daily and weapons of mass destruction have yet to be found in Iraq. A man not only limited by his lack of experience but also surprisingly incurious - who reads little and leaves it to others to question whether reality comports with his ideology.
Curiously Incurious George Archives
October 09, 2003
Curiously Incurious George
Since David Frum called George Bush "incurious" the term "curiously incurious George" just sort of spun itself out of the aether. While a great fan of Bush's, Frum felt this was his one weakness: he was dependent on others for his information, a dangerous spot for Caesar to be in, as it allows Caesar's imperatori and his senatorii to conspire behind his back. Imperial references meant in a literary sense only.
John Moltz » Blog Archive » Bush hopes for a still-birth
October 7th, 2003
Ah, yes, it’s the great incuriousness and lack of follow-through that is the hallmark of the Bush administration!
Regime Doesn't Bother With the Facts:
by Neal Gabler
October 7, 2003
Originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times October 5, 2003 (see "George W. Bush's Medieval Presidency" below)
Justice, sympathy for Rush / VIEW FROM THE LEFT
Harley Sorensen, Special to SF Gate
Monday, October 6, 2003
Harley Sorensen is a longtime journalist. His column appears Mondays.
Sorensen's column is on the San Francisco Chronicle's sfgate.com website but does not appear in the paper.
Bush reminds me, in this instance, of a famous courtroom story of a murder trial in which the body was never found. The defense attorney, in a moment of inspired drama, announced in court that not only was his client innocent but also that the alleged victim was about to walk into the courtroom.
With that, all eyes turned to the courtroom door. Nobody came in, but the attorney had made his point. If the jury believed the alleged victim was dead, why did they expect him to walk into court?
It was a good device, but it didn't work. The defendant was convicted anyway. Unfortunately for him, when all other eyes turned to the courtroom door, his didn't. The jurors noticed, and he was a goner.
Bush's apparent lack of curiosity over the leaker in the White House reminds me of that story. Most CEOs would be frantically trying to identify who in their midst had the poor judgment to name a covert CIA operative, but Bush seems blasé about the whole thing. Could it be he already knows?
US and the World
by Donald Douglas, October 6, 2003
includes excerpts of "George W. Bush's Medieval Presidency" (below).
George W. Bush's Medieval Presidency
(on the website of) The Stevenson Society
Los Angeles Times
October 5, 2003
This article is available in the paid archive of the Los Angeles Times. This is one of many free copies on the World Wide Web. If the above link doesn't work, try:
Bush's "Medieval" Presidency or... Why The World Hates George Bush
President Bush told Fox News recently that he only "glanced" at newspaper headlines, rarely reading stories, and that for his real news hits, he relied on briefings from acolytes who, he said flippantly, "probably read the news themselves." He rationalized his indifference by claiming he needed "objective" information. Even allowing for the president's contempt for the press, it was a peculiar comment, and it prompted the New York Times to call him "one of the most incurious men ever to occupy the White House."
But in citing this as a personal deficiency or even as political grandstanding, critics may have missed the larger point. Incuriosity seems characteristic of the entire Bush administration. More, it seems central to its very operation. The administration seems indifferent to data, impervious to competing viewpoints and ideas. Policy is not adjusted to facts; facts are adjusted to policy. . . .
The difference between the current administration and its conservative forebears is that facts don't seem to matter at all. They don't even matter enough to reinterpret. Bush doesn't read the papers or watch the news, and Condoleezza Rice, his national security advisor, reportedly didn't read the National Intelligence Estimate, which is apparently why she missed the remarks casting doubt on claims that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium from Africa. . . .
Even the scientific community has been waved off by the medievalists. A minority staff report issued last month by the House Government Reform Committee investigating scientific research found 21 areas in which the administration had "manipulated the scientific process and distorted or suppressed scientific findings," including the president's assurance that there were more than 60 lines for stem-cell research when there were actually only 11; it concluded that "these actions go far beyond the typical shifts in policy that occur with a change in the political party occupying the White House." When a draft report of the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year included data on global warming, the White House ordered them expunged. Another EPA report, on air quality at ground zero in Manhattan, was altered to provide false reassurance that no danger existed, even though it did. [Link added for convenience; not in original.]
There's much more! click the above link and read the whole piece!
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