Monday, September 27, 2004

Books and Letters

So as I perused the Arts section of my local Sunday paper (The Dallas Morning News) I stumbled upon a book review about a guy who wants to assassinate President Bush. Whatever. I don't care about that. Fiction is fiction, I guess. What did bother me was the efforts of the writer of said critique to bash Bush and conservatives in the process. Read review here. It resulted in a letter to the editor which will suffice as today's, or at least one of today's blog entries...

I bemusedly read the leading paragraph of Candy Fowler’s letter as she referred to "[t]he pro-Bush Dallas Morning News staff." Apparently, this doesn't extend to the "Arts" section and its book reviews.

Regarding Jerome Weeks review of Checkpoint, I have little doubt as to how the author will be voting on November 2nd. Mr. Weeks first notes "President Bush's lousy performance in the National Guard" to balance out his chastisement--to use the term loosely--of Dan Rather and CBS's handling of the fake memo "story." The only problem with that would be the evidence reported by Byron York of The Hill in his September 9th article. In it he shows that the President first had to complete 80 weeks of full-time training before even beginning to fulfill his Guard obligations. During that time Guard members were required to "...accumulate a minimum of 50 points to meet their yearly obligation." In the years following, Bush earned 253, 340, 137, 112, and 56 points respectively. His hours did drop off that last year, but the war was ending and it did still meet the requirements. I guess that could be termed as "lousy", but I wouldn't want to work for Mr. Weeks.

Also, his characterization of Brit Hume, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Cal Thomas or Mona Charen as hate-mongers seems highly unnecessary…especially Hume. Would the editors have said something if Hume's name was replaced with Jennings, Rather, or Blitzer?

Finally, Mr. Weeks casts liberals in "...the role of the noble-minded punching bag who never fights back -- see Al Gore and the Florida recount..." Excuse me? This would be the same Al Gore who had lawyers throwing out votes of military personnel like week-old bananas? Or the one who to took his attempt to ascend to power to the highest court in the land following an election he lost, even after several recounts?

I don't mind Mr. Weeks or others of the "pro-Bush Dallas Morning News staff" giving their opinions, especially in a book review. If the book was bad, say so. If you don't like Bush, say so, as long as you make it clear that it is your opinion. However, when the opinions of one begin to usurp the facts, that is when someone (aka editors) should say, "No."

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