Accuracy in Media

Bush-bashing was supposed to be off the table at the recent Democratic National Convention.  But liberals and Democrats are promoting a new anti-Bush book that essentially accuses President Bush of being crazy.  Richard Leiby of the Washington Post promoted the book in a June 10 column, noting that it argues that Bush must be removed from office “before it is too late.”  Leiby identified the author, Justin A. Frank, as “a Democrat who once headed the Washington chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility?”

“Physicians for Social Responsibility” sounds like an impressive group.  But it has a very liberal agenda on issues ranging from national security to gun control.  It continues to demonize DDT, despite its demonstrated ability to save millions of lives from mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria.  It also had a “Campaign to Stop War Against Iraq Project.”  Considering the nature of this book, it may be surprising to know that the publisher is Regan Books, a division of Harper Collins, which is itself part of News Corp, the parent of Fox News Channel.  This is the media conglomerate headed by Rupert Murdoch.

Now, Communist dictator Fidel Castro has picked up the theme, making the case in a July 26 speech that Bush is a mentally unstable religious fanatic.  He quoted liberally from the Frank book.  The fact is, however, that questions have to be raised about Frank’s mental state, after reading excerpts from the book available on the Harper Collins website.

In order to prove that Bush is somehow off his rocker, Frank asks questions such as: “How is it that our deeply religious president feels free to bomb Iraq?and then celebrate the results with open expressions of joy?  How can a president send American soldiers into combat under false pretenses and then proceed to joke about the deception, finding humor in the absence of weapons of mass destruction under his Oval Office desk?”

The answer to the first question is that Iraq was bombed to destroy an outlaw regime and free its people.  That’s something to be celebrated.  The President was obviously not expressing joy over people getting killed.  The answer to the second question is that U.S. troops were not sent into combat under false pretenses.  Saddam did have WMD programs and was seeking a nuclear bomb.  The joke he refers to was delivered as part of a humorous speech to White House correspondents where the President was expected to be funny.  That is part of a long tradition of presidents joking with the White House press corps at an annual dinner.

But also consider this question about Bush posed by Frank: “?why does he feel he can call his plan to lift logging restrictions in national forests the ‘Healthy’ Forest Initiative?”  This is a contradiction only for someone who doesn’t understand the nature of the problem.  The purpose is to reduce the risk of catastrophic fire by thinning dense undergrowth and brush in America’s forests.  Frank’s uneducated questions about Bush raise alarm about his own lack of understanding of critical issues.  His book is titled “Bush on the Couch” but perhaps Dr. Frank ought to schedule an appointment of his own.




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