In her Monday White House Letter on Bush's long August vacations in Texas, White House reporter Elisabeth Bumiller remembers a very special anniversary -- one so special that, as Slate's Mickey Kaus notes, only she and a few anti-Bush bloggers remember it: "One reason for the activity might be the desire to be in purposeful motion on another anniversary of the now-infamous C.I.A. briefing that Mr. Bush received at the ranch on Aug. 6, 2001. That briefing, which informed the new president that the terrorist network Al Qaeda had maintained an active presence in the United States for years and could be preparing for hijackings here, created a political uproar when its contents were eventually made public."Kaus writes: "Maybe I'm out of touch with the American people, but what I've seen on several recent trips to the 7-11 leads me to doubt that that the anniversary of the August 6, 2001 PDB is on everyone's lips, or anyone's lips, outside of a few diligent anti-Bush bloggers. And even they seem to be on vacation! Is this really a salient memory that that the Bush PR operation needed to counter (as opposed to the general perception that Bush spends an awful lot of time on vacation)? Or is Bumiller so in tune with the fine points of anti-Bush culture that she has mistaken it for reality?"He goes on to say "it's as painful to read Bumiller trying to pretend to be chummily respectful of the Bushies while sniping passive-aggressively as it is to listen to...NPR anchors try to fake patriotic sincerity on July 4."The Times also filed several misleading stories about the briefing last year, exaggerating its specificity and significance. Read more about Bumiller's "strange anniversary" at timeswatch.org
NYT's Elisabeth Bumiller Marks a Strange Anniversary in Terror War
Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.