The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, September 16, 2005

Double Dubya

Salon does a nice job of transposing two Newsweek articles on Fearless Leader. Or are there two presidents, who have a tag-team presidency? It only serves to highlight the disgraceful way in which our press has conducted itself in the last decade. I suppose it's an inevitable result of the increasing corporatization of the industry-- yes-men get their millions, while troublemakers get booted downstairs.

Wolffe (Jan. 2005): Bush is "a restless man who masters details and reads avidly" and "digs deep into his briefing books." When he's not "poring over white papers," he also enjoys the occasional novel.

Thomas (Sept. 2005): "It is not clear what President Bush does read or watch, aside from the occasional biography or an hour or two of ESPN here and there."

Wolffe: "To hear his friends tell it, Bush hates toadies."

Thomas: "Bush can be petulant about dissent; he equates disagreement with disloyalty" and "aides sometimes cringe before [his] displeasure."

Wolffe: Bush's "style in policy briefings is to narrow the debate with a series of questions, crystallizing the competing opinions and exploring the disagreements between his staff."

Thomas: "After five years in office, [Bush] is surrounded largely by people who agree with him."

Wolffe: Bush pursues his agenda "in a hands-on manner that runs counter to the notion that he's an aloof executive who can't be bothered to read the fine print."

Thomas: The atmosphere in the White House in the week after Katrina was "strangely surreal and almost detached," in the words of one administration aide.