Monday, January 29, 2007

Personal Animosity Towards George W. Bush

George H. Bush accused the media of personal animosity towards his son:

President George W. Bush's father accused the news media of "personal animosity" toward his son and said he found the criticism so unrelenting he sometimes talked back to his television set.

"It's one thing to have an adversarial ... relationship -- hard-hitting journalism -- it's another when the journalists' rhetoric goes beyond skepticism and goes over the line into overt, unrelenting hostility and personal animosity," former President George Bush said.

Watch my lips: This is not a new wingnut framing. Not...

What does it mean to have "personal animosity"? Is it the opposite of "impersonal animosity" and how does one practice the latter? I would have thought that personal animosity in the context of political reporting would happen if a reporter was actually somehow insulted by a politician or a politician stole away the reporter's spouse. But this is not what papa Bush means. He's simply saying that people shouldn't be mean to his son. It's understandable that a parent would feel that way.

Still, this is probably part of the same wingnut framing which argues that all anger at George Bush is inexplicable, illogical, deranged. That hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths is not a good and rational basis for anger seems odd to me. No, make that "seems deranged" to me.

The animosity a lot of people feel towards George W. Bush is not personal. It is not aimed at George W. Bush the person. Most of us don't know him as a person. The animosity (or rage, really) is aimed at George W. Bush the president and it is a direct consequence of his failings in that job and his refusal to learn anything at all from them. Which means even more unnecessary deaths.