Bush's Filtered News
By Michael Kinsley
Friday, October 17, 2003; Page A29
To President Bush, the news is like a cigarette. You can get it filtered or unfiltered. And which way does
he prefer it? Well, that depends on the circumstances. When he is trying to send a message to the public, Bush prefers to
have it go out unfiltered. He feels, for example, that the "good news about Iraq" is getting filtered out by the national
media. "Somehow you just got to go over the heads of the filter and speak directly to the people," he said the other day.
So, lately, he has been talking to local and regional media, which he trusts to filter less.
But when he is on the receiving end, Bush prefers his news heavily filtered. "I glance at the headlines, just
to get kind of a flavor," he told Brit Hume of Fox News last month. But, "I rarely read the stories" because "a lot of times
there's opinions mixed in with news." Instead, "I get briefed by [White House Chief of Staff] Andy Card and Condi [Rice, the
national security adviser] in the morning."
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