W. RECONSIDERED ON PBS

A LETTER TO TODD GILLMAN OF THE MORNING NEWS.

I watched the Bush bio on PBS’s “American Experience” and just read your account of it. I will say your assessment contains more critical honesty about Bush 43 than anything I’ve read in the News, notable for its long and embarrassing obeisance to a hometown boy who wrecked the world as president. You say, “Bush detractors will find far more material to reinforce their views.” Yeah, but not not enough. True, the disasters of Iraq, Katrina and the financial meltdown are attributed to his smiling neglect and incompetence, but far too much air time was given over to henchmen and apologists like Fleischer, Hadley, Hughes, Rove, Perino et. al. to say what they’re going to say about “the decider.”

The filmmakers didn’t bother wondering, for example, how much W. forever deglamorized the Ivy League by his example of unlettered leadership, in particular his willful ignorance about the Middle East before setting it on fire. What does a history degree from Yale mean if you can’t tell the difference between Sunni and Shia?

At least there was enough truth in it that I doubt it will be added to the collection at the Bush Library. I guess that’s something.

About Sean Mitchell

SEAN MITCHELL is a journalist, critic and former staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Herald Examiner and Dallas Times Herald. His articles and reviews have also appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, USA Today and other publications. He is the recipient of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for excellence in writing about music and the George Jean Nathan Award for distinguished drama criticism. Born in Bethlehem, Pa., he grew up in Dallas and is a graduate of St. Mark’s School of Texas and Brown University. He lives in Dallas.
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