Former President George W. Bush appeared on the Today show this morning, and, during an interview with Matt Lauer, he said some words about media and accountability, which have been (quite rightly, no doubt) interpreted as throwing shade at Donald Trump.
Former President George W. Bush said Monday that the media is "indispensable to democracy," a break from the position of his fellow Republican, President Donald Trump, who has called the press "the enemy of the American people."Cool. And y'all already know that I'm incredibly uncharitable, so let me just dive right in.
"I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. That we need the media to hold people like me to account," Bush told Matt Lauer, anchor of NBC's "Today" show. "I mean, power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it's important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere."
I remember the Bush administration. I wrote about the Bush administration for eight long years. And there was never a day in which any member of that administration agreed with those sentiments. Not while they were in power.
What Bush is saying sounds great. It also sounds entirely like something someone would say who wants to conceal his own role in paving the road to now.
Let us not forget it was a Bush advisor, after all, who gave us the "reality-based community," while speaking to Ron Suskind, who revealed this incredible exchange in a comprehensive profile of Bush for the New York Times in October 2004.
In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend—but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.Emphasis mine.
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
This is the world the Bush administration created: "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality." Sound familiar?— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) February 27, 2017
There's a lot of almost "fondness" for Bush 43 by comparison to Trump. That tends to elide the groundwork his presidency laid *for* Trump.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) February 27, 2017
My memory is too long for me to appreciate anything George W. Bush has to say on this subject. And virtually any other.