Note at the outset
: I did not vote for George W. Bush. I don't want him as president. However, he is, and as such deserves the privilege of any other American citizen
of being held innocent until proven guilty
. Of course, if there's a possibility
that an actual crime - or even a gaffe - is being committed, as the Republicans have shown us, then it's OK to investigate someone to within a millimeter of his colon
Not that the Democrats are innocent of this by any means.
Anyhow, I find the speech above particularly troubling in light of the oft-investigated and apparently oft-squelched story that in 1970 Mr. Bush, then in his early twenties, paid for a woman who may have been his girlfriend to receive an abortion.
This display of hypocrisy (if true) is unfortunately all too common these days, despite its rather nasty sting given Mr. Bush's avowed support of the Anti-Abortion movement. However, what's worse than that is the complete squash story the media seems to have played on this.
Although the media (Large M, like CNN, The New York Times, the Washington Post, etc.) were quick to lambaste Mr. Bush for his many gaffes prior to his assuming office, they have been giving him a remarkably soft ride since. While this may be due to feelings of responsibility for the dignity of the President, that would be a quick switch.
Back to the point: On Oct. 20th, 2000, publisher/pornographer/whatever Larry Flynt was interviewedon CNN's Crossfire. During the course of this (live) broadcast he was asked about the results of his publicized investigation into the private scandals of Washington GOP bigshots. After discussing that, he responded to a direct question from Mr. Novak (I believe) with the following:
"Well, during the impeachment debacle, we did an investigation which resulted in the resignation of Bob Livingston and others and we have continued this investigation and for eight months we've been looking into George W. Bush's background. And we've found out in the early 1970s he was involved in an abortion in Texas, and I just think that it's sad that the mainstream media, who's (sic) aware of this story, won't ask him that question ... We've got all kinds of proof on this issue... If the abortion issue is true then that puts him lower on the morality scale than Bill Clinton."
When Mr. Novak commented in reply that "Mr. Flynt, you said if it's true and you have no proof of that. I gather you are very strong..." Larry Flynt interrupted to retort "The hell we don't have proof!"
Mr. Novak then cut to a commercial. During the remainder of the broadcast, not a word was spoken about this issue. Mr. Flynt did, however, comment during an online chat after the broadcast, in which he elaborated on his outburst by stating that he and his team knew the name of the woman, the name of the doctor that performed the procedure and 'evidence' from girlfriends of hers at the time. However, he added that since she wasn't willing to come forward, there was no point in publishing the entire story since they felt that they weren't on solid enough legal ground.
Then the really interesting stuff begins to happen. First of all, the next week, Flynt was interviewed on KGO radio in San Francisco by Bernie Ward, and Mr. Ward noted that despite Mr. Novak's on-air assurances to Mr. Flynt that no censorship was to be found at CNN, the transcript for the Crossfire program had been pulled from CNN's servers.
This is still the case. If you examine the CNN transcripts archive at http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/cf.html you will find that the Crossfire transcript for Oct. 20th, 2000 is missing. There is a gap from Oct. 19th to Oct. 23rd. Oct. 23rd was a Monday; Oct. 20th was a Friday. Where's the transcript? It was downloaded by many folks before it vanished, and distributed around the net. Some organizations, such as the American Politics Journal, noted its sudden disappearance. That organization also noted that CNN was refusing requests for that transcript, a sharp departure from its normal policy. Other transcripts were of course available.
The only response from CNN was in issued statement that 'Mr. Flynt's charges (what charges? What crime? -ed) were totally unsubstantiated and potentially harmful' and were thus deleted. 'It was up to CNN to set matters straight,' they continue.
Really? If so, it's been bloody quiet, as that was the last anyone ever heard on the matter from CNN. Not that that saved them from being blasted by far-right pundits as a 'tool' for Flynt and the Left to blast Bush.
So, Mr. President, the question remains. I don't have access to the president, but perhaps some of you out there do. If you do, ask him: "Mr. President, did you pay for a woman to receive an abortion in the State of Texas in 1970, before Roe v. Wade was on the books? If so, why do you now feel that this is not an acceptable recourse for a woman?"
Note: abortion was, at the time, quite legal in places; there is no accusation here of Mr. Bush committing any sort of crime. However, there appears to be a bit of a conspiracy amongst the larger media organizations and such to keep this particular line of inquiry from moving forward. Matt Drudge (not one of those larger media organizations) published a response to Mr. Flynt's allegations, in which he stated that 'friends' of this unidentified woman reported that the woman is considering legal action against Flynt, and that she never slept with Bush. According to Drudge, Mr. Flynt had 'better start naming names!'
While I'm not saying that the sources below have proof, or even are the best ones to investigate, these allegations should be investigated! I won' t even go into the Dole abortion hullaballoo...
PROBE Newsletter, David R. Zimmerman. http://www.probenewsletter.com. (Vol. VII, No. 12 - Jan. 2001)
American Atheists website, at: http://www.atheists.org/flash.line/elec22.htm
Bushwatch at http://www.bushwatch.com/flynt.htm
Parody Bush Campaign at http://www.bushcampaignhq.com/boards/serious/messages/476.html ..for transcript redacted sections.