A BuzzFlash Reader Commentary
July 8, 2002 | UPDATE, July 10, 2002
Cokie is WRONG: Bush Was Never "Cleared" by SEC
by Joe Strike
Why is Cokie Roberts repeating the not-quite-true White House line that Bush's suspicious Harken Oil dealings (which cover far more territory than just the failure to report an insider stock transaction, by the way) were 'cleared' by the SEC? Perhaps she didn't see the article in last Tuesday's Washington Post [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A15500-2002Jul2.html] that said:
Moreover, her focus on the Democrats' and Republicans' strategies, perceptions and polling mark her as a Washington 'insider' more interested in the game of politics over the facts and substance of the issues facing the country. The historical record strongly suggests that Bush's entire business and political career was built upon the same kind of shady deals and insider connections he now pretends to condemn (would anyone other than the President's son get a free pass from the SEC?); thus the Democrats are performing a public duty -- not indulging in partisan politics -- by raising these issues. NPR is neglecting its journalistic responsibility to its listeners and to our democracy by refusing to dig deep and tackle these critical questions head-on.
- Joe Strike
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The Kurtz Letter
Dear Mr. Kurtz,
I read the following on Eric Alterman's 'Altercation' weblog:
Howard Kurtz on "Reliable Sources" this week: In defending Bush against the "unfairness" of being asked the kinds of questions that should have been asked in 2000, Kurtz mistakenly notes that W "was ultimately cleared by the SEC." Newsweek's Martha Brant concurred.
In the interest of correcting the historical record, here's the Email I sent to NPR when Cokie Roberts repeated the same conventional - and erroneous - wisdom on Morning Edition yesterday:
Mr. Kurtz, don't you owe it to your profession and our democracy to GET IT RIGHT and TELL THE TRUTH, or is protecting a hypocritical and morally compromised chief of state your primary occupation? I hope you will both use your next TV appearance to set the record straight. This is not a partisan issue - this is executive branch corruption on the level of Iran/Contra, Watergate or the Teapot Dome (all the handiwork of previous Republican administrations, by the way - and that's a fact, not a 'partisan' attack).
If the phantom 'Whitewater' scandal was worth $70 million dollars of investigation and endless reportage, I'd say Bush's corporate entanglements deserve a thorough going-over all their own; what do you think?
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