Except for ABC, Media Ignore George W. Bush's Mountain Bike Ride with Wounded War Veterans
If a 64-year-old former U.S. president rode 100 kilometers in the desert with more than a dozen wounded military veterans to raise awareness of and money for veterans charities, would it make headlines?
You'd think it would, but it didn't.
On Monday, April 18, the George W. Bush Presidential Center announced that the former commander-in-chief would ride with "fourteen United States servicemen and women who were seriously wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan" in a 100-kilometer mountain bike ride on April 25-27 in the Big Bend National Park:
The W100 will highlight the courage of US troops who have served their country honorably during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. It will also herald the significant contributions of organizations that support these heroes and their families while they are gone and when they return home. Organizations represented on the ride include the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Ride 2 Recovery, World T.E.A.M. Sports and the Wounded Warrior Project.
The bike ride will serve as the inaugural event of the Social Enterprise initiative of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The Social Enterprise initiative highlights the work of those who find innovative ways to help others.
Yet despite the newsworthiness of the trek, it seems the mainstream media has all but ignored it, save for ABC News's George Stephanopoulos.
A search of Nexis transcripts found no mentions of the bike ride either CBS or NBC news programming. A search of "major newspapers" found no mention in the Washington Post or New York Times.
It seems even major Texas newspapers gave little coverage to the event.
For example, the Houston Chronicle simply ran a photograph and brief caption on page A2 of the April 27 edition:
Former President George W. Bush leads 14 servicemen and women wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan - including former Army Sgt. Bryce Cole of the Houston area - on Monday, the first day of the W100k mountain bike in Big Bend Ranch State Park. The purpose of the race is to show the bravery and strength of wounded veterans.