Sunday, August 17, 2003

The press bears a special responsibility

James C. Moore, a Texas journalist and co-author of "Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove made George W. Bush Presidential" has penned a mea culpa for buzzflash in which he apologizes to the American people for voting for Bush.
Nothing prepared me for what has happened in America under George W. Bush. In Texas, he was, politically, fairly moderate. Actually, he was even, for one brief moment, courageous, and exhibited leadership. A fiscal conservative streak ran through his policies, but not so much that they deeply harmed Texas’ already austere social services. And when the governor sent his messages to the right, they were armored with logic, not vitriol. He was a man of obvious common sense, and charm. As a result, I voted for George Walker Bush. And now I need forgiveness.
Mr. Moore goes on to outline both his assessment of Bush prior to the election, when he covered the campaign, and his subsequent disillusion with Bush's Presidency.
There is neither time nor space to even begin to write of the Bush administration’s hypocrisies and deceptions. History will, eventually, conclude that his reckless taxation reduction and deficit increases, his disingenuous campaigning and rhetoric, imperialist foreign policies, and corporate greed moved America closer to its recessional from the grand stage of true liberty and equality. The only way to stop this cascade of wrongs is for voters to take their citizenship more seriously. Democracy only works when the electorate is vigilant, and informed. Rove knows we’re too busy worrying about jobs, mortgages, and lost retirement funds, to closely monitor the president’s work. He’s right. And George W. Bush is doing as he pleases, not as Americans prefer. And because I voted for him, some of this is being done in my name. Please forgive me.
I appreciate the apology Mr. Moore, but it is inadequate. You see, you bear a special responsibility for this mess above and beyond the fact that you voted for the guy (being from Texas your one vote hardly made that much of a difference). No, you bear a special responsibility because you are a journalist who covered Bush for years and you still got bamboozled. Many of us who were amateur's at best in assessing the political scene could see the lie that was and is George W. Bush coming from miles away. Hell, I live all the way up here in Oregon and I could see Bush for what he was far better than you could who spent day after day covering the guy in close quarters. Perhaps that was part of the problem? So, Mr. Moore, if you want my forgiveness, don't apologize for your vote. Apologize for your failure as a journalist. Then maybe we can talk.

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