Sunday, November 05, 2006

This whole neo-con vs Vanity Fair debacle.

Politics: Where the people who got interviewed said their quotes were taken out of context for publicity sakes and they lied when they said the interview was not going to be put out before the election. Via Captain's Quarters.

National Review Online has a symposium of people quoted in a press release by Vanity Fair that purported to show neoconservative abandonment of the Iraq war. VF had agreed not to release the artice before the midterm elections, but in a bit of dishonesty, repackaged quotes out of context in order to build interest in the article. Now, the sources of those mangled quotes strike back at VF.
It's Vanity Fair for crying out loud. How stupid do you have to be to think they wouldn't take advantage of the mid-term election considering the editor in chief is Graydon Carter who had this nice writeup in the Guardian for the election in 2004.
Carter fights his reputation as a lightweight, but even he admits that he is surprised by the book he has just written. During his editorship of Vanity Fair, the 55-year-old has made a point of neither voting nor buying shares, a position of lofty disinterest from which he descends with a 340-page polemic attacking Bush and comparing Donald Rumsfeld to Hermann Goering. What We've Lost: How the Bush Administration Has Curtailed Freedoms, Ravaged the Environment and Damaged America and the World is a book that has been assembled rather more than written. With great recourse to lists and bullet-point breakdowns, it audits Bush's shortcomings across every department of government, opening each chapter with one of the president's goofy quotes ("It's clearly a budget. It's got lots of numbers in it") then slamming home wave after wave of damning facts and anecdotes: that Bush tried to reclassify "manufacturing" jobs to include people who worked in fast-food joints; that teachers in Missouri were ordered to remove every third light bulb from schools to save money; that parents of soldiers in Iraq were in some cases forced to buy their children's own body-armour vests ("$1,500 retail"), plus hundreds of statistics attesting to Bush's failure to help America's poor, sick and discriminated against. The result is so overwhelming that it reads a little as if someone has fed "Bush, presidency, fuck up" into a search engine on the internet and loosely organised the results. Carter says he intended to write a short handbook, but that the more he and his researchers looked into it, the longer the book got. ....Does he at least think Bush believes he is doing the right thing? "I don't know. I don't know how you think you are doing the right thing by having a tax system that barely affects the middle class, and makes life so much easier for so many wealthy people. America has almost too many wealthy people and the tax cuts were designed for them."
His January 2004 letter will blast Bush's 'wrongheaded' state visit to Britain, ridicule Tony Blair as having a schoolboy's crush on the President and slam 'deceptions' in the run-up to a war in Iraq that is 'out of control'. In previous columns he has accused Bush of lying over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and shaming the country by allowing members of the Saudi royal family to fly out of the US without questioning two days after the 11 September terrorist attacks. He has slammed healthcare gaps, security, the burgeoning deficit, tax cuts for the rich, the US reputation abroad and corruption. This has proved surprising given his magazine's even-handed coverage of the war on Iraq, compared with the supine, pro-Bush stance of much of the American press. Denouncing Bush has made his Editor's Letter one of the best-read parts of the magazine, with advertisers clamouring to pay top rates for the page opposite the column. Carter is now turning to Hillary Clinton as America's saviour. He believes she is the only Democrat with the 'X' factor - charisma, toughness and a certain je ne sais quoi that makes her a natural leader. This weekend it emerged that he is also writing an anti-Bush book and, he told The Observer, has been campaigning behind the scenes to get Hillary to run for president 'right now'. 'I feel like a lone voice in the wilderness. But there is a large, seething majority out there against what Bush is doing to this country. This administration is as fundamentalist as the Islamics,' Carter said.
You saw the fire pit and jumped right in of your own accord. Don't blame Vanity Fair for doing what comes natural to them.

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