Prof. Kevin Howley Reflects on a "Painful and Lasting" Term
January 11, 2009
January 11, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — "In a spate of exit interviews with reporters, George W. Bush has been uncharacteristically coy on the subject of how history will judge his time in office," begins an op-ed by Kevin Howley, published in this week's Bloomington Alternative. Dr. Howley, associate professor of communication at DePauw University, notes, "'The Decider' prefers to leave such judgments to future generations." He adds, "While the Bush administration spent the better part of the past eight years doing (self-inflicted) damage control, the past few months have been devoted to a historical whitewash."
The professor uses critiques from media watchdogs to make the case for the "corporate media's subservience to government leaders ... (and the) corporate media 'get-out-of-jail-free' card," and declares that "the U.S. press corps, like its commander in chief, is content to let future historians judge the Bush years, lest they be judged. In other words, corporate media discourse on the Bush legacy is not simply disingenuous; it is self-serving."
Howley opines, "The irony here is that unbeknownst to him, and unnoticed by the press and the punditry, W. rather succinctly summed up his legacy last fall. At a White House press conference on Sept. 30, 2008, Bush urged Congress to pass a $700-billion bailout scheme for Wall Street. Failure to do so, Bush told the lawmakers and the American people, would have 'painful and lasting' consequences for the United States. Painful and lasting: that's it in a nutshell. Bush's legacy -- a record marked by rampant abuses of power, contempt for the rule of law, catastrophic economic collapse, and late-term pardons, giveaways and sweetheart deals for party loyalists and corporate clients -- will define the American experience for generations."
You can read the complete column at College News.org.
Kevin Howley is the author of Community Media: People, Places, and Communication Technologies. Learn more about him in this recent story.