"For a long time, Bush's poor job approval ratings on domestic issues were more than counterbalanced by his strong approval ratings on international issues. But that formula for political success is falling apart," writes Ruy Texeira. The latest polls show that only 48 percent of the public approves of his handling of foreign policy and Iraq. A majority believes the war with Iraq was not worth the cost and that the Bush administration was hiding information or lying about what it knew when it made the case for war.
President Bush's popularity skyrocketed after 9/11 as the country naturally rallied around its leadership. Bush announced that his war on terror would define his presidency and the 2004 Republican convention will be held in New York city as close as possible to the third anniversary of 9/11. Now, the New York Times reports that the Republican Party is launchiing "its first advertisement of the presidential race, portraying Mr. Bush as fighting terrorism while his potential challengers try to undermine him with their
The New York Times reports that former general and corporate lobbyist, now presidential candidate Wesley Clark supports "a proposed constitutional
amendment that would make it illegal to desecrate the
American flag by burning or other means, a position that
puts him at odds with many constituencies in the Democratic
Party and several other candidates for the Democratic
TV docu-dramas, such as this Sunday's red, white and blue Iraq war mythology Saving Private Lynch, always play fast and loose with the facts, twisting reality into fiction for entertainment's sake. But a much hyped CBS miniseries on Ronald Reagan drew the wrath of the Right, and CBS has dumped the show. The New York Times reports that "CBS executives ...
White House advisor Karl Rove has selected Jim Wilkinson, the 33-year-old Texan who headed communications and press relations for the U.S. Central Command in Qatar during the Iraq invasion, as communications director for the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York.
The Los Angeles Times is facing a firestorm of criticism from supporters of Arnold Schwarzenegger who have accused the newspaper of showing bias against their candidate by publishing women's complaints that Schwarzenegger sexually harassed them. "Regrets? Not one," responds Times editor John Carroll. "Personally, I knew the stories were solid as Gibraltar. ... Among those employees whose misfortune it is to answer the phones at The Times, there is a consensus that our angriest critics haven't actually read the stories.
"It may have been Arnold Schwarzenegger's victory celebration, but the crowd around him at the Century Plaza Hotel on Tuesday night easily could have been the receiving line at an NBC stars' picnic," notes Greg Braxton. Prominent faces at the celebration included his wife, "Dateline NBC" correspondent Maria Shriver; actor Rob Lowe of NBC's "Lyon's Den"; Pat O'Brien of NBC's "Access Hollywood"; and "Tonight Show" Host Jay Leno.
Brent Bozell, whose Media Research Center spends its days looking for "liberal bias" in the media, has decided to take on the Justice League of America.
"Throughout his career as a bodybuilder and action-movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger has shaped his public persona much as he once sought to sculpt his champion muscles - with a domineering determination," write Dion Nissenbaum and Eric Nalder. His obsession with controlling his image goes even beyond the practices of other Hollywood celebrities. "Arnold's entire career has been manufactured," said Arthur Seidelman, who directed Schwarzenegger in his first action film. "He is very much in control of his image and has shaped that image every step of the way.
The White House official who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame did more than attack a political enemy, writes Shaun Waterman. Plame worked for the CIA "on the very issue the Bush administration says was at the heart of its decision to go to war with Iraq: weapons of mass destruction. ... Plame's outing, whomever did it, has damaged the very effort the White House said it was pursuing in going to war in the first place. A very important line has been crossed here. The integrity of the policy goals - non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction - is now seen by at least some in the White House as less important than the integrity of the message - we didn't exaggerate the case against Iraq. ... The message seems to have trumped everything, even the need to get it right in the war on terror." And as Walter Shapiro notes in USA Today, the Plame flap is only one of several scandalous recent developments related to the war in Iraq. "In the past week, three major Iraq-related developments should have, in theory, caused lasting embarrassment to the Bush administration," Shapiro writes. "But because none of these flaps touched on illegality, they have been treated as one-day stories."