Accuracy in Media

Former President George H.W. Bush, age 93, was recently accused of sexual harassment by two actresses.

Despite the former president’s struggles with good health, CNN felt it was appropriate to include him in a list of powerful men who have been accused of sexual harassment.

Yet, to their credit, CNN did point out that Bush’s spokesman reiterated the wheelchair-bound former president meant no harm and it was not intended as harassment:

“President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind,” the former President’s spokesman said.
Later, in a second statement, spokesman Jim McGrath said:
“At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures. To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.”
In the end, CNN is correct in reporting that the former president has been accused of sexual harassment, but it could be viewed as poor taste since the former president appeared to have meant no harm and is not in stellar health, as explained by his spokesman.

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