Dubya, draft-dodging and the so-called ‘liberal’ media

Dubya, draft-dodging and the so-called ‘liberal’ media

Picture: BushForDummies.com

The fearless Prez dodged the Vietnam draft using a wheeze which got him into the Texas Air National Guard. From this he then went AWOL for a year. So much for his patriotism. This story was originally broken by the Chicago Tribune and generated a few good spoof websites, but has been largely ignored by the supposedly ‘liberal’ US media ever since.

This week, Dubya staged a major photo-opportunity by landing in a fighter-jet on a US aircraft carrier. The irony of a draft-dodger using an audience of ‘real’ military people was not lost on Tribune columnist Eric Zorn who writes:

“The ‘Bush AWOL?’ story appeared in this newspaper and was based on good reporting and still-unanswered questions. It faded away–a scant 14 mentions in the database for all of 2001 and 2002 due to the age of the allegations, the lack of any new developments and the urgency of current events.

Last week, though, the president all but wore a ‘Kick Me!’ sticker on the back of his flight suit when he decided to land on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln in the co-pilot’s seat of an S-3B Viking jet.

Imagine the derisive merriment in the columns and on the chat shows if former President Bill Clinton revived the skirt-chasing issue by touring a sorority house or if Gore delivered a lecture to the engineers at Netscape Communications Corp. Think of the snickering and the sardonic rehash of history.

But for Bush in flyboy attire, a discreet silence. The only voices I encountered raising this issue were David Corn in the Nation; Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin, who asked, ‘Tell me if you ever heard of anybody with as powerful a resistance to shame as Bush’; and talk station WLS-AM’s token progressives Nancy Skinner and Ski Anderson, who spent a full hour Sunday afternoon savoring the irony of it all.

There was no relentless examination of the damning timeline on cable news outlets, no interviewing the commanders who swear Bush didn’t show up where he was supposed to, no sit-downs with the veterans who have offered still-unclaimed cash rewards to anyone who can prove that Bush did anything at all in the Guard during his last months before discharge.

So much for the cynical distortion that has become conventional wisdom in many circles. So much for the myth of the ‘liberal media’.”