A "major league a**hole"
In an embarrassing gaffe, George W. Bush insults a New York Times reporter.
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By Jake Tapper
Sep. 04, 2000 | At a Labor Day event in Naperville, Ill., Monday morning, apparently oblivious of the microphone just inches from his mouth, Gov. George W. Bush made a crude offhand remark about a reporter that those in the campaign of his rival, Vice President Al Gore, hope will take some of the shine off Bush's warm and sunny veneer.
Waving and smiling to the crowds, Bush and his running mate, former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, seemed to be enjoying the generous reception offered by the Republican enclave in the Chicago suburbs.
Then Bush spotted New York Times reporter Adam Clymer, who has been with the paper since 1977, serving as national political correspondent during the 1980 presidential race, as polling editor from 1983 to 1990 and as political editor during the successful presidential campaign of Bush's father in 1988.
"There's Adam Clymer -- major league a**hole -- from the New York Times," Bush said.
"Yeah, big time," returned Cheney.
Because of the crowd noise, few if any of the audience could hear the remarks. But reporters -- especially those with radio or network TV sound equipment plugged into the microphone -- heard the remark clearly. As of early afternoon Monday, media executives were reportedly deciding whether or not to use the tape.
The Bush campaign had no comment. Gore's campaign, however, was quick to seize on the gaffe. "Bush promised to change the tone and now he's broken his word twice," said Gore spokesman Douglas Hattaway. "He launched negative personal attacks on Al Gore" both through a recent negative ad against Gore, "as well as on the stump, and now he's using expletives to describe a New York Times reporter in front of a crowd of families. He talks out of both sides of his mouth about changing the tone."
Bush has made civility a major issue in the campaign. When Gore expressed irritation at Bush's waffling on the presidential debate schedule, calling it "put up or shut up time," Bush said, "We have to do something to change the tone of the discourse," adding that "politics doesn't have to be ugly and mean."
Yet within hours a Bush-approved attack TV ad that mocked Gore personally and was paid for by the Republican National Committee was running in more than a dozen swing states.
"I thought it was tongue-in-cheek," Bush said, when asked if the ad went against his pledge to "change the tone." Later, when asked about the ad by two of Clymer's colleagues at the Times, Alison Mitchell and Frank Bruni, Bush dismissed complaints about the ad, saying, "This is politics."
Though he's done a decent job of hiding it in this election cycle, Bush has been known to use salty language. At the Republican National Convention in 1988, he was asked by a Hartford Courant reporter about what he and his father talked about when they weren't talking about politics.
"Pu**y," Bush replied.
I suppose that Editor-in-Chief Raines made it clear to the gaggle of reporters covering the "Jason story" to steer clear of the "affirmative action goes bad" part of the story.
What an excellent article.
This contrition and self-outing is so elaborate that it's almost like they've resolved to be honest or something --THESE GUYS ARE GOOD!
Reading this, you'd almost think their readership wasn't displaying a long and sustained pattern of decline.
~~THE ENRON TIMES~~
Obviously a democrat. Next he'll be running for office.
I don't think so. Anthony Lewis' comment that "mass explusions are the only way to start on their (the Khymer Rouge's) vision of a new society" was lower. Sydney Schanberg calling predictions of mass executions under Pol Pot "tendentious" was lower. Herbert Matthew's shilling for Castro was lower. Walter Duranty hiding the murder of over 6 million people was lower.
Two Times reporters killed themselves last year. One jumped out of a 7th floor window at the paper's Manhattan headquarters. Wonder what is going on we don't know.
Hey, NYT! Yoohoo! You still haven't 'fessed up about your boy Walter Duranty and all his years of lying and Soviet propaganda that appeared in your rag. Because of that, nobody in his right mind takes the Pulitzer seriously anymore.
``The New York Times,'' she said. ``You would expect more out of that.''
And that's what is so funny about this chicanery. Anyone with two neurons
to rub together knows that the reporting side on the NYT is so poisoned by
the editorial vision of what the news ought to be rather than what it is, nothing the
NYT prints can be read with any expectation of truth, including the logo with
its backwards 'Y.'
The Clueless Times has been working on the honor system for the last 40 years as its ideologues presented politically correct reality as truth. A real investigation of all their people and practices would be a labor fit for a Hercules, an Augean stables.
Coming as it does from a mouthpiece of the Democratic Party, however, it seems:
1) Irrelevant, since a newspaper that prints op-ed pieces as "fact" on its front page and shamelessly endorses specific political doctrines in its "reporting" cannot seriously be considered an objective source of news. Thus, another set of fabrications coming from a well-known source of fabrications isn't at all surprising.
2) Predictable. Indeed, it is impossible to imagine how a young writer surrounded by such pathos for four years would not resort to emulating it. The issue here is not that Jayson Blair wrote fictitious stories, but that he did so without permission. How supremely ironic that a news staff that worships Bill Clinton takes offense at dishonesty!
If this had occurred at a newspaper that had maintained a good reputation for honest reporting, it would be a sensational story. Coming as it does from a handbill for liberal Democrats, it is nothing more than a tempest in a teapot.
I'm stunned. Shocked. It took FIVE Times reporters and an additional TWO researchers to pen this bit of classic irony? The Times wouldn't know "truth" if it flew a hijacked 757 into their newsroom and this entire story PROVES it!
What arrogance! These folks think they know the truth??? They can't handle the truth!!!