Former President George W. Bush appeared on NBC’s “Today” show and offered a defense of the beleaguered media.
“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. We needed the media to hold people like me to account,” said Bush.
“Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power,” he added.
Bush’s remarks stand in contrast to President Donald Trump, who repeatedly attacked the media while on the campaign trail and continues to do so. Trump recently announced he would not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, an event that celebrates the media. Prior to his announcement Trump called the media “enemies of America.”
“It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves,” Bush said.
The former president also supports an investigation into the alleged influence the Russians had over the 2016 election.
“Well first of all, I think we all need answers,” Bush said. “I have great faith in Richard Burr for example, he’s the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee … and if he were to recommend a special prosecutor then it’d have a lot more credibility with me.”
Bush, who now appears to have found favor with the media, was often a victim of their bias during his administration. Media celebrity and discredited journalist Dan Rather reported on unsubstantiated allegations about Bush’s National Guard service during Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign and was later disgraced when the “memos” used to attack Bush were discovered to be forged.
The media does love Republicans who criticize other Republicans.