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W's Training Wheels

Training Wheels

'' Yet that has been the pattern since Election 2000. Bush has rarely been treated like a national leader who should be held to account for mistakes and misdeeds. It's as if major news outlets are set on treating Bush like a toddler wobbling off on a two-wheel bike kept aright by training wheels, with an adult hand at his back and only upbeat words of encouragement in his ears. 

During and after the Florida recount battle, for instance, the news media seemed to fear that a serious examination of Bush's electoral tactics might further divide the country. When disclosures surfaced about Republican shenanigans – such as the disqualification of hundreds of black voters falsely labeled felons or the double-standard used in counting overseas ballots depending on whether the votes were from Republican or Democratic counties – the stories were treated as historical footnotes or turned back on Vice President Al Gore for failing to be more aggressive. Bush was never deemed responsible.

After Bush's inauguration, national news outlets acted as if it was their patriotic duty to protect Bush’s fragile legitimacy. The kid-glove treatment has continued ever since, even now after the Bush administration was caught hiding the fact that Bush was personally briefed on bin Laden’s intention to attack targets inside the United States more than a month before those attacks killed some 3,000 people. ''

- Robert Parry, The Consortium

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