Let's not pretend Time didn't fawn over Bush/Cheney

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Time's unexpected pick of Barack Obama as its Person of the Year raised lots of cackles among the right-wing because, they whine, it was just another example of the press fawning over Obama.

Newsbusters lamented:

David Von Drehle's marshmallowy cover story celebrating Time Person of the Year Barack Obama was fraught with too much bias for just one post.

Newsbusters remains determine to shred apart Time's Person of the Year feature article because it was too nice to the Person of the Year. So far, Newsbusters has posted three separate angry items (including a video of Leader Brent himself!) because--think about this, now--Time's Person of the Year feature was too nice to the Person of the Year.

And Newsbusters was expecting what exactly? Aren't syrupy worshipful features pretty much what Time's Person of the Year write-ups are all about? Leader Brent says no way. Time never treated Republican presidents like this, he claimed.

Actually, Time did, and it was just a few short years ago. It's true. Go back to Time's 2002 year-end issue when it toasted, for 4,500 glowing words, the Partnership of the Year between George Bush and Dick Cheney. Trust us, worshipful barely begins to describe the Time treatment.

A sample:

With that posture—leaning forward, fists clenched—the Bush Administration has promised to set aside a longtime tradition of restraint in waging war, because the danger demands no less. Its members believe that the enemy is mobile and can't be deterred, the targets are soft and can't be protected, and the old rules of battle no longer apply. The war on terror is a war of annihilation, and the President's every instinct tells him that however divided America may be over policy or priorities, this is the only fight that matters.

And this:

But in the national crisis, when all the bright lights came up on the White House stage, there was a chance to rewrite the rules, rewire the whole Executive Branch. Bush had the zeal to make the war on terrorism his mission; Cheney provided the theology.


What two people have in common may bring them together, but what makes them different tells their fortune. Some of history's most powerful partnerships are not friendships, and this is true of Bush and Cheney.


"Together [Bush and Cheney] are leading us along a rough road with sharp curves, and while we may argue about where we're heading, we have no choice but to follow, because a nation fights as one."


However anxious they may be, most Americans are inclined to give Bush the benefit of the doubt; they trust his motives and approve of his performance. In war, it's not enough for people to like Bush; they have to follow him, and for many, that's easier when he has Cheney marching at his side.

P.S. Is anybody else completely creeped out reading this kind of thinly veiled agitprop again, and being reminded just how mindlessly pro-war the mainstream media often was in late 2002?

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