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Faith And Power Critics

Faith, Power and Bush's American Way

Looks like the Bush supporters came out in full force against this piece. I get it – you do not buy my take on why the White House behaves as it does. And for some odd reason this seemed to cause many of you to attack CBS. Maybe it's something in the air?

Give me a break, this latest piece from Meyer sounds like Jr. High School kids talking about their contempt for the Principle! Who in their right mind would criticize a president for demanding loyalty! My memory is just good enough to remember 20 percent interest rates, Iran hostages who could not be rescued, and Rust Belt America dying on the vine! Meyer can be critical of the Bush cabinet and advisors all he wants, but presidencies who were not as driven by "gut feelings" were paralyzed when it came to the big decisions. Those decisions that Meyer admits that Bush makes without hesitation. This White House IS confident. To detractors that will always look and fell like arrogance. Maybe the point of the article was simply to promote the earlier article by Pillar... tacky, like a President using an aid as a humidor!
Dale Williams
You criticize Bush for having faith and being sure of his convictions. So these are bad things? Clinton was seen often at church with a Bible under his arm and was talked up in the press as an "Alfa Male" and yet this was a good thing. Also, if a contempt for the press is equated with an arrogance of power, then most of America must be pretty arrogant.
I found this article to be profoundly dull. I must wonder about the author's sanity. To sit there and ponder such absurd thoughts is only less regretful than me taking the time to read this nonsensical article. G'day.


Using the current business model as an explanation for the way in which this White House operates hadn't occurred to me until I read your column. I don't know why it didn't. After all, Bush's college degree is in Business Administration. It's a perfectly logical construct.

But I don't think the business side of it over arcs the faith and power aspects. It's a three-legged stool, used for milking money from the citizens to provide butter for corporate interests.

However one views it, your point that the operations of our government reflect directly those that we accept from business interests is deadly accurate. To reverse this state of affairs is going to require cataclysmic change. I wonder where that change is going to come from.

Randi Gifford

Listen to yourself, you should look in the mirror. Your diatribe describes you and others in the former mainstream press, to a "T". You and your ilk now just write to and for each other. All of us can now check your beliefs (reported as news). You in the press are the newsmakers. You are the dinosaurs. Just like "60 Minutes" and CBS News. We just simply do not believe you anymore.

"I have come to believe that this White House (As in the "Mainstream Press") behaves how the worst American corporations behave: self-interested, opaque except under duress, deceptive, market-sensitive, skilled and blinkered. I apologize if that seems naïve or simplistic."

No need to apologize, we just don't tune in anymore.

"........that the Bush administration has become drunk on power and thus indulges its predilections for secrecy, manipulation and imperiousness."

As in the "Mainstream Press"

"In campaigns, the standards of truthfulness and honesty are very low. They resemble the standards we've stooped to in corporate life, just as the techniques of campaigns imitate corporate ones."

As in the "Mainstream Press"

Jim Muir

Good article, here are my thoughts:

The White House is selling a product to the American people, complete with flashy banners, simple themes, and even simpler catch phrases. Presidential press conferences, briefings, and speeches have devolved into an arena to sell a pre-packaged product that has been neatly pounded into George Bush's head by his campaign strategists. An example is the recent commercialization of what should be serious constitutional debate on executive powers into a new campaign item and catch phrase: "If someone in the U.S. is talkin' to al Qaeda we wanna know about it." The sole difference lies in the fact that corporations in today's economy must be competent and efficient to survive. The White House is neither of these, but I guess the packaging is just too pretty.

Here's my vote for 2006: "The Bush White House, I'm lovin' it."

Daniel Brannon

You're right that Bush et al were arrogant before taking power, but they are way beyond the prior machinations of other administrations. Consider the following:
  • They politicized intelligence to launch a $1 trillion war against a country that was no threat to us.
  • They would do anything to stop those who got in their way, including outing a CIA agent whose husband showed that a key piece of their "evidence," used in a State of the Union speech, was false.
  • They help pass Medicare and Energy Bills that do nothing to attack our problems, but merely give hundred of billions to the industries that own the politicians through campaign contributions.
  • They routinely torture prisoners, render them to prisons that are black holes, hold hundreds indefinitely without evidence, and claim the right to disregard Geneva Conventions and other norms of civilized behavior.
  • They are able to constantly propagandize through Fox "News," Rush Limbaugh, and other professional propagandists, so that their complete ineptitude with the Iraq War, Katrina, etc. has no consequences with their base of supporters.
  • They claim that there are no Congressional or judicial limits to their power, so they can spy on whomever they want, whenever they want, without respect to statutes or the constitution; can issue "interpretive" statements that trump the will of Congress; can hold citizens indefinitely without judicial review, etc.

    Twain said that America had no distinct criminal class, with the possible exception of the Congress. I'm sure he meant the Presidency as well.

    Charles Lewis

  • It never ceases to amaze and offend when you or those in your "profession" write such drivel. You say "we" have come to accept as fact that corporations are evil and deceptive, but in that statement you hide several falsehoods intentionally. First is your reversion to the role of innocent junior high-level ethics student, righteously shocked at human greed. Your years in the news business are cast aside, as are your insider's knowledge of all the inequities, crimes, and power seizures by the Democrats, to whom you are so well tied. "Sadly" is the lead-off word when your political opponents are in power; the message of your writing is "get rid of Bush and the Republicans, and we'll ALL be better people".

    Second, you fail to apply the standards of your "shocked" observations to your own corporation. When an anchor of decades and his producer are fired for publishing polemics as "news" in an effort to influence elections, your corporation lies about all details associated with the incident. On the other hand, you refuse to publish truths you care not to admit, such as accurate war news, or the cartoons that have allowed the "Islamic Street" to intimidate most of the western press, and then lie to your audience, saying that you're doing so out of concern for hurting feelings. As a corporation, you fit your own description to a T.

    Finally, you attempt to include all of America in your phony "we". What garbage! You have little knowledge and even less care for anyone outside the circle of coastal elites whom you court. Several CBS insiders have told the tale of how most at your company consider the great American unwashed…we're the mouth-breathers and nose-pickers you have always imagined us to be, so what could we possibly know, anyway?

    How can we judge who's correct in this argument? I urge you to take a look at you continuously-falling market share, and read the recent nationwide demographics poll on just who watches network news these days. Your sponsors tell the tale: all the ads during the news are for adult diapers, false teeth adhesive, and scooters for the obese and infirm. In other words, the only audience you've retained are yours from habit alone, and they are dwindling fast. Why is this? You know, but would never say so: it is you institutional dishonesty, instinctive dislike for your own country and countrymen ("we must remain neutral in reporting the war news, giving all sides' opinions equal weight"). Ernie Pyle and Bill Mauldin would punch you and your peers in the nose, and you know it. Conversely, who will be better remembered as journalists, you and your ilk, or those two icons of war reportage?

    So, in a sense, you're right. Some corporations are deliberately corrupt. Especially the ones who actually sell the deceptive advertising to pay for their "reality" shows. Especially the ones who want the nation to act as if your POV is "more real than make believe", to use your own words.

    The "New American Way"? It's the way of liars and traitors, as well you should know. You've been trying to (first) sell that concept to us since Cronkite's "Viet Nam is unwinnable" days, and you (second) continue to do so with your pathetic bleat of an "article". But, as I pointed out, and as you have known for some time from your dwindling numbers, it's not working.

    T. Lopes

    How can you say that Bush operates the same as Clinton, in a permanent campaign mode? There is no comparison. Bush is bold and visionary; everything the press railed against his father for not being. He has been bold on attempting to advance democratic principles in the Middle East, he has stepped on the third rail with bold visions of Social Security reform, he is pursuing the only rational health care system which is Medical Savings Accounts and catastrophic coverage and much more. All this in the face of a hostile press which is firmly in the camp of old and tired leftist solutions that have been tried all over the world and come up empty.

    Your article is another attempt to flail away at the already thoroughly flogged president who doesn't seem to go down and stay down. He's like my children's first toy, a little round bottomed plastic schmoo that when you knocked him over he just rolled back upright again. Instead of appreciating his good qualities and ideas and assisting in his success, for the good of the country, the press is the one aiding and abetting a continuous political campaign. Just think how much could be accomplished if the weight of the press coverage wasn't so tilted to one point of view. Alas!

    Bette S.

    If you still want to send in an e-mail, you'll have to read a real column to find the address.

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