Clinton, Bush: Media is Now More Harsh

March 29, 2007

                     (from right) Former Presidents Bush and Clinton with PricewaterhouseCoopers managing partner Juan Pujadas

Media coverage of politicians had grown harsher, which could have a detrimental effect on future leaders, former U.S. Presidents  George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton told the CTIA wireless technology conference.

Increasingly there is an adversarial relationship between the press and politicians that, compared to his tenure, is “even tougher, uglier”, Bush, the 41st U.S. president and Former President George Bush, at the CTIA conference in Orlandofather of the current president said.

“I’ve never seen it quite as harsh, as mean, as it is right now for the president and for a lot of other people in public life,” said Bush.

Bush has previously accused the media of “personal animosity” toward his son.

Clinton said he and Bush had received their share of tough questions when they were in office, but cited a blurring of the lines between sensationalism and mainstream journalism. He added that a more even discussion of politics could come from Internet sites and Web blogs. He cited the tendency of blogs to scrutinize one or two subjects rather than a full plate of issues. 

“They can do research and get the facts and don’t have to bad-mouth people. Sometimes they do, but they don’t have to,” Clinton said. “I think all these blog sites are creating a whole new opportunity for public debate that may revitalize our politics in an old fashioned way.”

Former President Bill Clinton, speaking at the CTIA conference in Orlando  Clinton and Bush lauded the role telecommunications and technology can play in improving healthcare, spreading individual freedoms and eradicating poverty. 
As for personal technology, the former presidents said they were dedicated to using cell phones or wireless devices.

“The hour I’m here is about the longest I can be away from my Blackberry,” Bush said.


What do you think? Is the media climate too “harsh”? Do blogs add life to the public conversation or just create more noise? 



If the media failed to prevent the massive blunders in US foreign policy which have unfolded over the past few years (which were massive blunders regardless of your position on the morality of pre-emptive war), then it seems reasonable to suppose that the media questioning of the administration on foreign policy matters was not harsh enough.

Posted by Ian Kemmish | Report as abusive

If the media recognizes their failure to seriously question US foreign policy and make the administration answer for their actions, they would most likely become harsher in their questions.
Are they “too” harsh.
Absolutely not.
I still say they’re not harsh enough.

Posted by Lewis Yancey | Report as abusive

I concur that they’re not harsh enough. It’s terribly amazing to hear H.W. proclaim “personal animosity.” It seems that there has not been enough animosity thrown around. But, what other kind of reaction could we expect from a man who has obviously taught (programmed) his son well? Kudos to the above comments.

Posted by Devin McCollum | Report as abusive