February 15, 2004


The New York Times, cautious as always not to intrude on the personal lives of politicians, reports on the President:

He had his tonsils removed as a young boy, had appendicitis when he was 10 and at 14 had an operation to remove a cyst from his chest, leaving a scar. At the time he applied for entrance into the guard, he had a hemorrhoid, the location of which was charted with military precision.

'Rhoids aside, other revelations tend to make Bush look kinda good:

In November 1970, the commander of the Texas Air National Guard, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, called Mr. Bush, then 24, "a dynamic outstanding young officer" who stood out as "a top-notch fighter interceptor pilot" mature beyond his age.

"Lt. Bush's skills far exceed his contemporaries," Colonel Killian wrote in recommending that Mr. Bush be promoted to first lieutenant. "He is a natural leader whom his contemporaries look to for leadership. Lt. Bush is also a good follower with outstanding disciplinary traits and an impeccable military bearing."

To balance things, the NYT throws in:

The documents offer up flashes of detail about Mr. Bush's life in the six years after he finished college, as well as glowing evaluations of him as an officer and as a pilot that could help the White House rebut any suggestion that he passed that period aimlessly while other young Americans were risking or giving their lives in Vietnam ... Looking back from more than three decades, there are intimations in the records of a life of privilege and of fateful decisions to come.

Posted by Tim Blair at February 15, 2004 03:18 AM

To quote Alterman, "What liberal media?"


Posted by: capt joe at February 15, 2004 at 05:23 AM

Couldn't we run similar inquiries on the Sulzberger clan for comparison of lives "of privilege" and what they did for the country as others were risking their lives? I for one would buy a copy of the issue of the NYT in which such an inquiry ran.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at February 15, 2004 at 06:48 AM

It says a Lt. Colonel is the commander of the Texas ANG? No way; it would have been a much higher rank. When one sees such inaccuracies, it makes one question if any serious time was spent by the reporter on other, more relevant facts. whoops, we are talking here about a Times reporter. sorry.

Posted by: Justin026 at February 15, 2004 at 06:53 AM

At times like these, I feel like Alice in Wonderland. The kind of folks who run the New York Times have been decrying the Vietnam War for three decades, and did their best to besmirch an entire generation of America's military, and the whole country along with them. Now, they're snidely deriding, by implication at the least, somebody who, by their moral compass, refused to commit war crimes like the rest of his generation. Go figure.

Posted by: ELC at February 15, 2004 at 07:24 AM

When I worked at the Times, Pinch Sulzberger's piles were the talk of the office.

Posted by: Jerry at February 15, 2004 at 08:12 AM

I think we can trust the Times on the subject of hemorrhoids. It's an area their reporters have great familiarity with.

Posted by: Matt at February 15, 2004 at 08:24 AM

Pinch didn't have any military experience, but Punch served as a Marine officer during Korea.

Posted by: Chris Pastel at February 15, 2004 at 08:31 AM

This week, while this "story" has been tossed against the wall to see if any of it will stick, I have been reading _Arrogance_, by Bernard Goldberg. The book is like class, and the story is like lab.

Posted by: The Sanity Inspector at February 15, 2004 at 08:33 AM

FYI - LTCs command squadrons. Colonels or Brigadier Generals command state Guard units. NYT reporters and management have no military experience and don't bother to learn anything.

Posted by: Billy Hank at February 15, 2004 at 08:43 AM

there are intimations in the records of a life of privilege

Because, what, only the privileged have hemorrhoids? Que?

Posted by: ilyka at February 15, 2004 at 09:03 AM

John Kerry, on the other hand, has not led a life of privilege. He has been a tramp, a hobo, & a gigolo. Who knows how he got into Yale, not to mention into Skull & Bones. He has hitchhiked his way to wealth. Letís make him our President.

Posted by: ForNow at February 15, 2004 at 09:22 AM

He spent this time while other young Americans like Howard Dean were skiing in Aspen.

Posted by: pchuck at February 15, 2004 at 10:49 AM

Mr. Berry,

Were it not for the howls from the Democratic Left, there would be no need to divulge all of this information, including this medical data, which, frankly, is too much information.

Yes, the White House released it, as the barking moonbat brigade requested. When nothing much is found, they will just say that the White House cleaned the records up before release (as Kevin Drum, among others, has already said even before the data dump). Welcome to the Soviet Union, where the press treats Republicans as guilty until proven innocent.

But no, we have Kevin Drum and the Liberal Loony Left, beating his drum (and God knows what else), saying that every document relating to Bush's ANG service must be produced, so here we go with hemorrhoids, which I thought he only suffered from recently after exposure to the pain's-in-the-ass that make up the White House Press Corps.

Posted by: David R. Block at February 15, 2004 at 11:42 AM

Yes, Keith, the New York Times reported what they and the rest of the pack demanded...it was of dire importance to national security that the Times throw in the little blurb about hemorrhoids. I'm sure no ill intentions were meant (the laugher you heard in the news room?? Ignore that).

They failed to mention what lead them to the assumption that "there are intimations in the records of a life of privilege and of fateful decisions to come". What could possibly be in a military personnel file that could lead the Times to that conclusion? What fateful decisions? Sounds like the Times was mistaking the Presidents file for tea leaves. In my experience military records are much more straight foreward than that.

Posted by: KellyW. at February 15, 2004 at 11:55 AM

The times should get its facts straight. It now seems that Bush actually voluntered for service in Vietnam, but wasn't selected;


"A former senior Virginia Air National Guard commander, who served with George W. Bush in the Texas Air Guard, says Bush volunteered for Vietnam combat service but was turned down because he did not have the required flight experience."

Posted by: Wilbur at February 15, 2004 at 12:10 PM

When I worked at the Times all anyone wanted to talk about was Bush's cocaine habit.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at February 15, 2004 at 12:15 PM

Wilbur: So there's only one source on the "Bush volunteered for Vietnam story" so far? Darn, I guess that means we'll have to wait for more information before we can decide whether Bush is really:

a) A trigger-happy moron who wanted to go and bomb different-looking people but was turned down for being too stupid, or
b) A snivelling coward who was too damn chicken to serve his country in Vietnam.

If only there was some way to spin this story so he was both...

Posted by: Jorge at February 15, 2004 at 12:21 PM


Posted by: Andrea Harris at February 15, 2004 at 12:38 PM

It isn't just the New York "Once Upon A" Times. The Associated Press' bias is even worse!! But, c'mon Mr. Berry, just because the White House released the records about his hemorroids, that doesn't mean the NY Times should have included it. Because, if the White House had redacted or blacked out that part, you and the Times would have screamed "WHAT's BUSH HIDING?" This AWOL story is bull, pure and simple, based on nothing but someguy saying, "We'll gee, I don't remember seeing him." (Of course, the part where the guy said, "I don't even remember when I was there was left out."

Posted by: Brian at February 15, 2004 at 01:17 PM

Do you think the reason the loons are always bursting with these stories about the Bush family (that is, the fraction of them not just lying for political effect) is that they themselves cannot imagine having money and power and NOT using it to waste themselves and abuse others? And, besides, what person ever born got to choose their family? If GWB was lucky, well, GREAT! As Napoleon famously said, luck is what he most wanted in his generals. Why in the world would we NOT want a lucky president ?

Posted by: Buddy Larsen at February 15, 2004 at 02:13 PM

Ah, it's always great to hear from my fans.

Boy, it sure sounds like y'all don't think the National Guard issue should be a story. Well, I agree. I think we should have had this discussion back in 2000, but, alas, we didn't.

What kills me is your hypocrisy. Al Gore was trashed for saying he invented the internet, even though he didn't, and that was considered a legitimate story. But the fact that there is NO EVIDENCE (maybe the S.E.C. lost it) that President Bush did his training in Alabama isn't a story? Puh-leese.

Hey, riddle me this: President Bush claims that he hasn't done illegal drugs since 1974. Does that mean he did illegal drugs as a member of the National Guard? If it was Al Gore, there would be 7,700 reporters looking into it, so why shouldn't President Bush's record be perused?

Of course, now there is a guy claiming President Bush voluntered to go to Vietnam, while President Bush admits he didn't.


Folks, the story doesn't add up. Once it does, I'll be the first to say so, but right now it flat out doesn't make sense. And if this were Al Gore, you folks would be singing a different tune.



Posted by: Keith Berry at February 15, 2004 at 04:26 PM

Not at all the same thing, Keith.

Bush's former ANG colleague has stated that Bush "inquired about participating in a volunteer program..."

Russert has asked "But you didn't volunteer or enlist TO GO." and Bush responded that he did not.

Seeing as Bush was too inexperienced a fighter pilot to get past the first hurdle, he doesn't consider himself to have 'volunteered', which is fair enough. He's only trying to downplay his commitment. By his critics standards, if he talked up trying to get on the 'Palace Alert' program, you'd be saying he was bragging about something he failed to achieve.

Campenni himself noted that the F-102 was a dangerous aircraft, and that several of their fellow pilots died flying them. I don't think downplaying it is proving much. If he had spent that era working as a fireman, police officer or paramedic, and his attempt to volunteer failed, would you still be accusing him of cowardice? Well, flying fast jets is much more dangerous than those professions are...

Posted by: Wilbur at February 15, 2004 at 04:58 PM

Oh thanks Keith, I wasn't sure you were an asshole. Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

Posted by: billhedrick at February 15, 2004 at 05:01 PM

The 'hemorrhoid' of gratuitous self linking in comments alongside the 'erectile disfunction' of ALL CAPS.

Thanks for sharing Keith, but next time keep your briefs on.

Posted by: Marko at February 15, 2004 at 05:31 PM

Bush needn't worry.

He's a true war leader who has brought down 2 regimes faced down the despotic UN, revived the American economy and is feared by regimes and terrorists throughout the planet. It is these people who hope that he will lose. Faced with these facts post 9/11, Kerry really has nothing to show.

Most voters understand Bush's record and appreciate his service and I am sure that he'll be voted in again.

Posted by: TedD at February 15, 2004 at 06:06 PM

I am always amazed how the national media can turn a story around to have it say what they want and do it year after year - the NYT is the leader in this department but the POST and the LA Times arn't far behind.

Are these papers Markist Rags? Certainly they do not have the best interest of America at heart. But then they aren't motivated to tell the truth by conscious, only to lie out of fear of the truth its self.

It will be intersting to see how long, if ever, it takes the local papers here in Wisconsin to 'shout' their discust over Kerry and his bimbo.

Posted by: DAM! at February 15, 2004 at 11:25 PM

Sorry for taking space with a repeat, but Mr. Berry, championing the hate Vietnam/love Vietnam, hate patriotism/love patriotism, anti Saddam/anti Iraq war, pro America/pro peace, anti special interest pro...oh, shucks, where was I? Oh, yes, trying to make some point about Mr. Berry's accusation of "hypocrisy"...but, really, what good would it do? Mr. Berry knows exactly what he's doing, so why foolishly waste words trying to argue? Those of us interested in facts might as well just shut up, until Nov, when the (sneer) "silent majority" will emerge and sent the Ghost of Salem back to the (re-sneer) "dustbin of history".

Posted by: Buddy Larsen at February 15, 2004 at 11:31 PM

Yo, Mr Berry, my dad served in the US Army. Guess what? All his records, and thousands of other people's records, were completely and utterly destroyed in a fire. Go ahead--tell me my dad was AWOL or some damn thing. In case your thick little head cannot get it--I want you to produce all your reports cards, going all the way back to kindergarten, to prove you were educated. Go find them now! Also all your immunization records, your PSAT scores, and the notes you and your friends passed back and forth in class. Also your lunchcard. And a receipt for all the money you spent on small cartons of milk.

I'll wait.

Posted by: ushie at February 16, 2004 at 03:09 AM

Ushie's right...the documents need to be released, just to ensure that all of our "questions" are answered.

Posted by: Joe Baby at February 16, 2004 at 06:09 AM

I think the last 3 years of Bush trumps anything good Kerry has ever accomplished.

Military Experience: Plus
Last 30 years as poodle to one woman or another: -3000

The election of Gore would have almost made me go "Oswald". I knew he was that bad. Nice that the rest of you are figuring it out. Now lets look forward.

Electing Kerry would make Charlie Rangel (bring back the draft for white boys) Secretary of Defense, Jimmy Carter as Secretary of State, and Joe "Gray" Davis ("I never saw a tax I didn't like, and we can just raise taxes without the legislature, can't we?") as Treasurer.

Imagine Byrd's son as Supreme Court Justice. It makes me shiver.

Posted by: Don at February 16, 2004 at 06:51 AM


It's nice to see how you folks treat people with contrary opinions. Bill Hedrik calls me an asshole, yet lacks the courage to use a real e-mail address. Joe Baby demands my personal records, yet shows the same cowardice as Bill Hedrik. And Don thinks he would have 'almost' assassinated a U.S. President because he doesn't like his views. Real stable group you have here, Tim.


Posted by: Keith Berry at February 16, 2004 at 08:18 AM

Fellow American Keith, it's called "poetic license"; if you've never heard of it, then you must mean literally everything you say, literally. Very restrictive for anyone, but most especially, one would presume, for any post-boat people, post USSR-collapse, left-liberal useful-idiot-organizing feller. Not that you're one of those, and besides, it's just politics, aren't we all saying all these things all in good fun?

Posted by: Buddy Larsen at February 16, 2004 at 09:22 AM


How old are you???

and how big is that chip on your shoulder?

Posted by: darleen at February 16, 2004 at 12:24 PM