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Don’t expect the media to give Republicans credit for anything good

Don’t expect the media to give Republicans credit for anything good

How the Washington Post proved Bob Geldof right

An article at Contentions by Peter Wehner, David Denby’s sneering ignorance, reminded me of one of the best profiles I’d ever read of President George W Bush.

Late in his second term in office, the previous President went on a trip with Bob Geldof, lead singer of the Boomtown Rats and global activist. The article, Diary from the Road shows Geldof’s mixed emotions about the President: Geldof shows both disrespect and skepticism about Bush, but you still get the impression that he admires him. The attitudes are in display in the first three paragraphs:

I gave the President my book. He raised an eyebrow. “Who wrote this for ya, Geldof?” he said without looking up from the cover. Very dry. “Who will you get to read it for you, Mr. President?” I replied. No response.

The Most Powerful Man in the World studied the front cover. Geldof in Africa — ” ‘The international best seller.’ You write that bit yourself?”

“That’s right. It’s called marketing. Something you obviously have no clue about or else I wouldn’t have to be here telling people your Africa story.”

That’s the way it is with Republicans, either they market themselves or no one knows about their good qualities. The focus of the article is the aid Bush initiated for Africa and specifically PEPFAR – President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

The Washington Post is a big fan of PEPFAR and recently praised the program in an editorial, PEPFAR’s glowing report card, 10 years later:

IN THE HISTORY of global public health, there has been nothing quite like it. Since 2003, Congress has appropriated more than $38 billion for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR — the largest global health initiative ever undertaken focused on a single disease. Congress reauthorized the program for five years in 2008 and asked for a report card. Now, after four years of work, some 400 interviews and visits to 13 nations, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences has provided a 678-page examination of this incredibly ambitious program.

The verdict: PEPFAR has been “globally transformative,” a “lifeline” and credited around the world for “restoring hope” in the long, difficult struggle against HIV/AIDS, which has taken nearly 30 million lives over three decades. Furthermore, the program “has saved and improved the lives of millions.” It set big goals “and has met or surpassed many of them.” One small statistic speaks volumes: As of September, the U.S. government has supported antiretroviral treatment for more than 5 million men, women and children. This is a vast increase from a decade earlier.

Check out the whole editorial. The editors of the Washington Post are huge fans of the program.

But there’s one thing missing from the editorial – “George W. Bush.” The first “P” in the program’s name, stands for “President’s” and the editors of the Washington Post don’t waste any words acknowledging the President who originated it. The omission is classless. Geldof was right. Republicans need to market themselves. No one else will.

For a contrast see An overlooked legacy – humanitarian by Christian Caryl.


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George Bush’s commitment to alleviating suffering in Africa remains one of his best (among several) legacies. The man wasn’t perfect but he certainly did understand the Office.

TrooperJohnSmith | February 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm

If the collective Media saw G.W. Bush walk on water, the headline of the day would be, “Bush Cannot Swim!”.

The Fourth Estate has become a willing Fifth Column of the Democratic Party.

FreshPondIndians | February 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I think the current administration was planning to ‘flatline’ funding in 2009 or 2010…I think I remember reading that.

Bob Simon (to his credit) did a very favorable story about George Bus on 60 Minutes! It is entitles America’s Gift! BTW, this happened before Kanye’s infamous comments!

That would be George Bush!

I don’t have time right now to do it, but a cursory search will reveal Elton John and Bono both giving praise to President Bush for doing more for Africa than any other president, including our first and second black presidents.

That story never became part of the MSM’s narrative about its least favorite dumb chimp.

Speaking of chimps, I’d like someone to ask Jane Goodall if she agrees with Geldof, Elton John, and Bono about President Bush.

The problem with “marketing” in politics is that it looks an awful lot like campaigning.

Dear Washington Post Putzim: You are SMALL, Loathsome Turds.

And you aren’t worthy of as much as one patooey of that Great-Stand Up Wartime Leader’s spit.

BannedbytheGuardian | February 28, 2013 at 6:54 pm

This is not unknown out there in the world. Suchdiscussion of its merits are almost always twinned with the ‘evangelical’ aspects & anti contraceptive programs in addition to anti abortion.

Whatever. Don’t blame the messenger here , but the puritanical angle is strong. That would be ok but Africa does not have puritanical aka responsible standards hence the spread thru the general community.

Another factor is the dropping of patents by big pharma to allow cheap generic drugs made & supplied by India.

The result is that the USA is fully paying for the HIV / aids programes in whole countries eg Mozambique. Other nations eg Uganda got moving much quicker to combat the spread eg by supplying condoms & program’s you would not approve .

It seems great PR to drag people from almost deaths door to health but it has been ‘too successful ‘. It is not a case of just 18 months but maybe 40 years that he Us taxpayer is grafted to. If a cure comes – lets hope it is cheap.

The compassion train does not come cheap.

“…struggle against HIV/AIDS, which has taken nearly 30 million lives over three decades.” So, where did the other 29 million deaths take place? The U.S. just had its one-millionth death, a couple of years ago. Oh, wait, I know. Some place where every death is categorized as an AIDS-related death because that’s the only disease they get any U.S. money for; some place where there are no reliable statistics. I don’t know where that is, but betcha that there’s a lot of sick people there. Oh, yeah. It’s also the place where 99% of the heterosexual transmitted AIDS is found. The place where Peter Pan lives: Never-Never Land.