Bush’s decision at first to remain cloistered on his Texas ranch for the Christmas holiday rather than speak in person about the tragedy — showed scant appreciation for the magnitude of suffering and for the rescue and rebuilding work facing such nations as Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Indonesia.
Betsy Newmark demolishes the WaPo’s take:
Note the lack of specific proper nouns to put names to those critics of Bush. Instead you get these generic words like “complaints” and “skeptics.” In fact, let me translate what these words mean in journo-speak. They mean “bored journalists sitting in Crawford with nothing to write about and ticked off at spending their holiday at a dinky town in Texas.” A secondary meaning is “foreign service diplo-weenies who have despised President Bush since he took office and are happy to bash him for anything and everything.”
This helpful translation service will help you read Reuters’ report on Bush’s announcement that, contrary to the implication that he didn’t care about the disaster, the US has put together a coalition of nations to organize aid efforts to the region.
Guys, when you’re dealing with a story of this magnitude, why not write the first draft of the news straight–and then after the dust has settled, things have calmed down and we can clearly examine who did what, draft the editorials and opinion pieces that offer your slant on how the various players performed.
Update: Charles Johnson and his readers also have some thoughts.