Condi-Bush story: Rip-off journalism

Intrigued to the nth degree, I could not resist picking up a copy of the tabloid, Globe, and reading the inside story about the alleged love letters of former President George W. Bush.  Bush supposedly wrote them, not to Laura, his wife, but to Condi, his Secretary of State, also known as Condoleezza Rice.   

Is this story relevant in additional to its titillating quality?  Without a doubt, yes.  I would like to know if Bush was busy at his computer, using an illegal non-government server, regaling Rice with his marital problems — while Cheney and Rumsfeld were in another room deciding the fate of the country.  Just as I would want to know what Clinton was doing in the dark parts of the White House and JFK with his Mafia-connected girlfriends.  Such indiscretions could lead to blackmail and adverse decisions made affecting the lives of the country’s citizens.

The Globe article on page 10, as it turned out, did not live up to the headlines on the cover.  If you paid the tabloid’s single-issue price of $3.69 just to read the W. love letters, consider yourself a victim of a rip-off. 

The cover:  “Found! Bush Love Letters to Condi” with a photo, possibly doctored, showing W. and Condi looking at each other suggestively.  An inset photo at the bottom of the page depicts an angry-looking Laura and the teaser, “The FINAL straw for Laura!”  Rumors have long circulated about the unusual relationship between W. and Condi.

The article’s lead paragraph states for certain that “love notes” from Bush to Rice were found “in a stash of missing White House emails” recently recovered by computer technicians.  Yet not one of the alleged notes is quoted, not even in part, and the primary source is identified as a “pal” of Bush or as an “insider.”  

The story focuses more on Bush’s marital struggles than anything.  The story asserts Bush and his wife are estranged and living separately, she in Dallas and he on the ranch in Crawford.  And also that Bush was “suicidal” after leaving office last January and made “desperate midnight calls” to Rice seeking comfort.  True or not, this article is too flimsy to use as fact and would not have seen the light of day in the so-called legitimate media. 

The Globe article was likely generated from a recent news story. That story revealed that 22 million missing White House electronic messages were recovered by computer experts.  Those emails were being sought as part of a lawsuit brought by two non-profit and non-partisan organizations, the National Security Archives (NSA) and Citizens for Responsiblity and Ethics in Washinton (CREW).  The groups were seeking information in regard to the firing in 2007 of eight U.S. attorneys. 

In my opinion, a Globe editor took that story to pose the question:  What titillating story MIGHT be in those emails?  Then concocted a scenario, or a story, that would sell at the magazine rack.   That said, the tabloids provide legitimate news stories often enough to take them, if not with complete seriousnees, with more than a grain of salt.

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