Missing a Bush Protester's Pro-Saddam Tilt
After filing a favorable story on preparations by extremist left-wing protesters to disrupt the Bush inaugural, Michael Janofsky relates their giddiness as their plans come to fruition on Inauguration Day in "Demonstrators Revel in Opposition on Big Day for President."
He sketches the scene: "For all their disgust with President Bush's inauguration, protesters could hardly have been happier. They screamed. They chanted. They held up signs. They got their message onto national television. And when Mr. Bush's motorcade rolled right past them on Pennsylvania Avenue at Fourth Street shortly after 3 p.m., they let him have it with all the invective they could muster. 'Racist, sexist, antigay. Bush and Cheney, go away.' That was one chant from the largest crowd of demonstrators on the parade route as Mr. Bush passed. Through the darkened windows of his limousine, it appeared that he and Mrs. Bush were waving to the crowd anyway."
After noting 13 protester arrests, Janofsky continues: "But none of the incidents dampened the mood of protest organizers who declared the day a resounding success. 'We think this is a significant achievement for the antiwar movement,' said Brian Becker, national coordinator of a protest coalition called Act Now to Stop the War and End Racism, or Answer.Ramsey Clark, an antiwar figure who served as attorney general under President Lyndon B. Johnson, appeared early and told the crowd that the Bush administration had 'made the world a more dangerous place.''It's because of what we've done and what we're doing right now,' Mr. Clark said, adding, 'Impeachment now is essential to the integrity of the U.S. government and the people of the United States.'"
Not only does Janofsky fail to mention that Clark is in fact a cofounder of ANSWER (itself a front for the neo-Stalinist World Workers Party) but he againsteps over Clark's most recent controversy: Signing up to represent Saddam Hussein at trial. Given that Clark also rallied to the aid of dictator Slobodan Milosevic and urged him to fight on against the NATO offensive, perhaps Clark is less "antiwar" than "pro-dictator."
For the rest of Janofksy's rally story, click here:
Repubs Won't "Blindly Follow" Bush on Social Security
Friday's lead story is Bush's inauguration, of course, with White House reporters Elisabeth Bumiller and Richard Stevenson contributing "A Presidency Altered by 9/11 and Words Shaped by That History."
They note: "The Inaugural Address, composed by a speechwriter, Michael Gerson, and edited by the president through 21 drafts, bore a strong personal stamp of Mr. Bush in its optimism and its belief in the transforming powers of freedom. It sidestepped many of the unpleasant realities in Baghdad, although it seemed to address directly the election in Iraq that is to be held in just 10 days. 'Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities,' Mr. Bush said. 'And when the soul of a nation finally speaks, the institutions that arise may reflect customs and traditions very different from our own.'"
(In a bit of a contradiction, the headline to the Times' front-page analysis by Todd Purdum states that Bush made "No Mention of Iraq.")
Even on Bush's big day, the Times highlights anonymous criticism: "As in foreign policy, Mr. Bush governed boldly when it came to domestic policy, running up big victories like the tax cuts he pushed through Congress. He called himself a 'compassionate conservative,' but his opponents sometimes lamented that he was much more the latter."
The Times then makes a word choice ("blindly follow") hinting that Bush's planned Social Security reform is reckless: "But over the last few weeks, it has become clear that his party is not going to blindly follow him on his proposal to overhaul Social Security, and that Democrats, while trying to regain their footing after their electoral defeat in November, are inclined to fight rather than compromise on many fronts."
For more of the Times' main inauguration story, click here:
More of "Black and White" Bush
Reporter Todd Purdum contributes a front-page "news analysis" of Bush's inauguration speech, "Focus on Ideals, Not the Details - Broad Call to Freedom, But No Mention of Iraq."
Purdum asserts: "Even assuming that the first round of elections in Iraq proceeds as scheduled, the continuing insurgency there seems all but certain to preoccupy Mr. Bush for many months to come. In short, there were plenty of reasons for Mr. Bush to avoid mentioning Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and 'the axis of evil' by name. The news in Iraq is hardly good enough to brag about, and relations with Iran and North Korea remain tense and seemingly stalemated. Mr. Bush referred only to unnamed enemies who 'have unwisely chosen to test America's resolve.'"
Purdum seems to spy some hypocrisy in Bush's foreign policy vision: "Mr. Bush, who campaigned four years ago with disdain for what he suggested was his predecessor's penchant for seeing foreign policy as social work, has set himself a tall order, and one for which a Democratic president might well be faulted."
Near the end Purdum gives Bush a backhanded compliment that's typical of the "nuanced" Times: "Mr. Bush has seldom shied from seeing the world, or himself, in black and white. His ways and means are debatable, but his sincerity is hard to doubt."
For Purdum's full analysis, click here: