Reuters -
Bush's father complains of news media "hostility"
Sat Jan 27, 2007 02:22

Bush's father complains of news media "hostility"
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1 author Jan 26, 2007

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush's father accused the
news media of "personal animosity" toward his son and said he found the
criticism so unrelenting he sometimes talked back to his television set.

"It's one thing to have an adversarial ... relationship -- hard-hitting
journalism -- it's another when the journalists' rhetoric goes beyond
skepticism and goes over the line into overt, unrelenting hostility and
personal animosity," former President George Bush said.

The elder Bush, the 41st U.S. president, had a relatively collegial
relationship with the press but things turned sour during his losing
1992 re-election campaign. He got so fed up with media coverage that
supporters at the time circulated hats with the slogan "Annoy the Media
-- Re-Elect Bush."

"I won't get too personal here -- but this antipathy got worse after
the 43rd president took office," the former president said. He was
speaking at a reception for a journalism scholarship awarded in honor
of the late Hugh Sidey, White House correspondent for Time magazine.

"And so bad in fact that I found myself doing what I never should have
done -- I talk back to the television set. And I said things that my
mother wouldn't necessarily approve of," Bush's father said, according
to a transcript of his remarks.

The current President Bush's approval ratings have slumped to the
lowest level of his presidency -- around 33 percent -- amid anger over
the Iraq war and opposition to his plan to increase troop levels in
Iraq. In an election widely seen as a referendum on Bush, Democrats in
November captured both houses of the U.S. Congress.

) Reuters 2007.

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