Sunday :: Mar 7, 2004

The Times' Bumiller Whores Again For The White House


by Steve

As you will note from reading this blog over the last week or so, I think Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times is a whore for the Bush White House. There is no tactful way to say it, nor would I want to. Much like her peer Frank Bruni spent the 2000 campaign for the Times with kneepads on for Bush, it seems in 2004 that the Times has passed the office kneepads on to Bumiller, whose job it is to help out the White House any way she can.

Exhibit B in this pathetic and transparent effort is a piece that Bumiller is running tomorrow, in which she takes stenography from Scott McClellan and Karl Rove and tries to convince us that Bush is raring to engage in full campaign combat, and is calling all the shots in his own campaign.

"I don't think there are any major decisions coming out of the campaign that he's not making," said one Republican official close to the re-election effort who did not want to be named for fear of angering Karl Rove, Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, who is overseeing the campaign. "For example, this media buy wasn't decided by Karl. It was decided by the president. You don't have a situation where the president is removed, as maybe his father might have been."

Yes, that’s right. The man who can’t be bothered with things like the intricacies of Social Security privatization, Medicare drug benefits, WMD intelligence reports, or the economic claims and projections in his own Economic Report of the President (“the president is not an economist”, “the president is not a statistician”) is calling his own shots on his media buys.

Sure. Right. So it was the president’s decision to use the 9-11 images of bodies being pulled from the rubble and using actors posing as firefighters, and that didn’t cause you to ask a slew of follow-up questions about the president’s judgement, Liz?

Liz baby, you’re a disgrace.

But there was one interesting tidbit from this story that came from the usual Republican who didn’t want to be quoted:

Mr. Bush was in such a good mood last week, Republicans said, that he took the unusual action of calling Mr. Kerry to congratulate him on Tuesday night, after the senator swept 9 of 10 states to become the presumptive Democratic nominee. The call was described by one Republican close to the White House as "pure Bush"; that is, it had the gentlemanly aura of good manners but was designed to knock Mr. Kerry slightly off balance and remind him that the man he would spend the next eight months attacking was the person on the other end of the line.

If the call did not have its desired effect — Mr. Kerry immediately went out and criticized Mr. Bush — it also caused no surprise at the White House. The Kerry campaign, the Republican said, "has excellent pitch, and when they go negative, they go negative in a way that really sticks." The Republican said he did not want to be named because "I don't want every reporter in America calling me every five minutes."

There’s nothing like a backhanded compliment coming from the Bush camp to make the Kerry camp feel good this early.

Steve :: 8:36 PM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!