Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Suffering for Silence

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Suffering for Silence

Article excerpt

After seven months, Bush's White House still doesn't understand that secrecy has a way of sabotaging presidential agendas

For a former cheerleader and frat house president, George W. Bush has an awful case of the shies these days. As he approached the end of his seventh month in office Monday, he had conducted just 12 press conferences, with nine of them hardly worthy of the name: He simply stood alongside a foreign leader and took a handful of questions. Bush has yet to hold a single prime-time press conference. As The Wall Street Journal's Jeanne Cummings pointed out recently, at this point in their terms, Bill Clinton had held 23 press conferences, and even Bush's similarly syntax-challenged father had managed 18.

The president's reluctance to face a full-dress press conference is only one symptom of an administration that increasingly acts as if what goes on in the White House is none of the American people's business. Each time he has faced a choice between transparency and secrecy, Bush has opted, as he once famously said of a primary opponent, to "take the high horse and then claim the low road."

A recent example has attracted almost no attention from the Washington press corps. Bush has twice signed executive orders to get around the law requiring the release of 68,000 pages of correspondence from Ronald Reagan's administration. These particular records have more than historical interest. Because many current Bush officials served with Reagan, the documents could well shine a new light on this administration. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.