Nothing new for internet researchers except it is published in a newspaper, a British newspaper. This is a repeat of the Salon article that requires watching an advertisement or subscription.
Before Karl Rove, Lee Atwater or even James Baker, the Bush family's political guru was a gregarious newspaper owner and campaign consultant from Midland, Texas, named Jimmy Allison.
In the spring of 1972, George HW Bush phoned his friend and asked a favour: Could Allison find a place on the Senate campaign he was managing in Alabama for his troublesome eldest son, the 25-year-old George W Bush?
"The impression I had was that Georgie was raising a lot of hell in Houston, getting in trouble and embarrassing the family
, and they just really wanted to get him out of Houston and under Jimmy's wing," Allison's widow, Linda, told me. "And Jimmy said, 'Sure.' He was so loyal."
According to what Allison says her late husband told her, the younger Bush had become a political liability for his father, who was then the United States ambassador to the United Nations, and the family wanted him out of Texas.
"I think they wanted someone they trusted to keep an eye on him," Linda Allison said.
Allison's recollections of the young George Bush in Alabama in 1972 are relevant as a contrast to the medals for valour and bravery that Kerry won in Vietnam in the same era.
An apparent front group for the Bush campaign, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, has attacked Kerry in television ads as a liar and traitor to veterans for later opposing a war that cost 58,000 American lives.
After Bush graduated from Yale in 1968, his slot in the Texas Air National Guard allowed him to avoid active duty service in Vietnam. The former speaker of the Texas state House, Democrat Ben Barnes, now admits he pulled strings to get Bush his coveted guard slot, and says he's "ashamed" of the deed.
Yet, after receiving unusual permission to transfer to the Alabama Guard from Texas, Bush has produced no evidence he showed up for service for anything other than a dental exam.
Later, Bush would trade on his father's connections to enter the oil business, and when his ventures failed, trade on more connections to find investors to bail him out.
Allison's account corroborates a Washington Post investigation in February that found no credible witnesses to the service in the Alabama National Guard
that Bush maintains he performed, despite a lack of documentary evidence. Asked if she'd ever seen Bush in a uniform, Allison said: "Good lord, no. I had no idea that the National Guard was involved in his life in any way." Allison also confirmed previously published accounts that Bush often showed up in the Blount campaign offices around noon, boasting about how much alcohol he had consumed the night before. (Bush has admitted that he was a heavy drinker in those years, but he has refused to say whether he also used drugs).
[After Blounts loss] leaving the election-night "celebration," Allison remembers encountering George W Bush in the parking lot, urinating on a car, and hearing later about how he'd yelled obscenities at police officers that night. Bush left a house he'd rented in Montgomery trashed
- the furniture broken, walls damaged and a chandelier destroyed, the Birmingham News reported in February. "He was just a rich kid who had no respect for other people's possessions," Mary Smith, a member of the family who rented the house, told the newspaper, adding that a bill sent to Bush for repairs was never paid. And a month later, in December, during a visit to his parents' home in Washington, Bush drunkenly challenged his father to go "mano a mano," as has often been reported.
Around the same time, for the 1972 Christmas holiday, the Allisons met up with the Bushes on vacation in Hobe Sound, Fla. Tension was still evident between Bush and his parents. Linda was a passenger in a car driven by Barbara Bush as they headed to lunch at the local beach club. Bush, who was 26 years old, got on a bicycle and rode in front of the car in a slow, serpentine manner, forcing his mother to crawl along. "He rode so slowly that he kept having to put his foot down to get his balance, and he kept in a weaving pattern so we couldn't get past," Allison recalled. "He was obviously furious with his mother about something, and she was furious at him, too."
About George W Bush's disputed sojourn in Alabama, she asks simply: "Can we all be lying?"
But the American media is ignoring Bush's record according to this case study.
Two Candidates, Two Military Records, Two Standards; Media Covers Allegations about Kerry's Service, Ignores Bush's Record
Baseless allegations that Kerry has lied about his military record have gotten heavy media coverage in recent months -- but lies we know that Bush has told about his own military record have gone virtually unreported by the media.
For example, Bush lied during his 1978 congressional campaign, falsely claiming he had served in the Air Force. The Associated Press reported on July 14, 1999:
Another example of a clear-cut Bush lie about his military record that has gone almost completely unnoticed by the media this year is a false claim he made in his autobiography about how long he flew jets for the Guard.
CASE STUDY on the media's double standard: Wesley Clark got negative coverage for remarks made at his campaign event; Bush has escaped similar scrutiny.
In January, during the Democratic primaries, filmmaker Michael Moore, appearing at a rally for then-presidential candidate Ret. General Wesley Clark, called Bush a "deserter," referring to Bush's apparent failure to report for duty in Alabama. A firestorm quickly developed, and Clark was widely condemned in the media for not challenging Moore's comment.
At a Bush campaign event in Beaverton, Oregon, two Bush supporters attacked John Kerry's military record -- one even suggesting Kerry received his Purple Hearts for "self- inflicted scratches" -- in questions to Bush. Bush did not denounce the comments, or disagree in any way. Instead, he thanked the supporters for their comments.
Surely, then, the media has taken Bush to task the way they took Clark to task? And perhaps even more harshly, since there is no evidence that John Kerry's military record is anything less than exemplary, while there is considerable evidence that Bush didn't show up for duty when he was supposed to?
Well, not quite: The media has ignored the Bush event and ignored Bush's tacit endorsement of the attacks on Kerry's military record made in his presence (which, by the way, recalled the 2000 Republican primaries, when, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Bush stood on a stage and listened as a supporter accused McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, of turning his back on veterans").
A LexisNexis search shows only six mentions of the Beaverton incidents
: two Washington Post articles, two Washingtonpost.com articles, a column by Gene Lyons in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and a Scripps Howard article. The Bush event is perfectly analogous to the Clark/Moore event (except that Moore had considerably more evidence to support his position than did the questioners at the Bush event) -- and yet the news media, which covered the Clark/Moore event so thoroughly, has ignored the Bush event.