August 11, 2007

"Gerson is not the bard of Bushworld but rather a self-publicizing' glory hog guilty of 'foolish vanity,' 'sheer pettiness' and 'credit hounding.'"

Somebody's jealous!
According to Matthew Scully, who worked with him for five years, [Michael J.] Gerson did not come up with the language that made him famous. "Few lines of note were written by Mike," Scully says, "and none at all that come to mind from the post-9/11 addresses -- not even 'axis of evil.' "
What? You mean Bush isn't speaking his own words... and his ghost is now under fire for himself having a ghost? And the ghostwriter's ghostwriter is feeling sad and lonely?
"The narrative that Mike Gerson presented to the world is a story of extravagant falsehood," Scully writes. "He has been held up for us in six years' worth of coddling profiles as the great, inspiring, and idealistic exception of the Bush White House. In reality, Mike's conduct is just the most familiar and depressing of Washington stories -- a history of self-seeking and media manipulation that is only more distasteful for being cast in such lofty terms."
Way to improve your reputation. And thanks for the writing sample! We'll keep it on file in case we create a slot for Director of Adjectives.
Scully recounts the story of the "axis of evil" phrase, which Bush used in his 2002 State of the Union to describe Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Scully notes that colleague David Frum originally came up with "axis of hatred," as reported before. Scully says he suggested changing it to "evil." He does not cite any examples of Gerson explicitly claiming the phrase as his own, pointing instead to news accounts attributing it to him that have gone uncorrected.
Evil has gnawed at him for years. Not actual evil, just the word "evil." He blurted it out 5 years ago. Why doesn't anyone know? Why doesn't anyone care?!!! I am the writer! See me! Feel me! They said "hatred," but I -- I! -- knew it should be "evil"! Evil! EEEEEEVILLLLLL! Ah ha ha ha ha.

24 comments:

hdhouse said...

"Someone is jealous" or "Someone is accurate".

rhhardin said...

``Reviled did I live ; evil I did deliver.''

Fritz said...

We are down to the speech writers to create a scandal?

DonSurber said...

Wait, you mean George Bush does not say those things spontaneously? They are written out in advance? By sniveling little scribes who scramble for credit later? My disappointment cannot be expressed in words, so I will just laugh and laugh and laugh.

Pogo said...

What a sad, sad little man. I rather doubt this revelation will result in many job offers, however.

Paddy O. said...

You didn't give the full quote.

"In reality, Mike's conduct is just the most familiar and depressing of Washington stories -- a history of self-seeking and media manipulation that is only more distasteful for being cast in such lofty terms. Mike has long given me all-over creepy shivers, like someone just dumped a bag of live spiders over my naked thighs."

reader_iam said...

Didn't Frum write axis of evil? Thought his wife Danielle Crittenden emailed everybody plus God about it at the time.

reader_iam said...

Perhaps I'm misremembering? Getting ready to exit car, so no time to verify.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Why would ANYONE try to take credit for "axis of evil?"

B said...

fritz, - spot on!

Cyrus,

what do you call the regimes running Iran and North Korea?

Do they not personify evil to you?

PatCA said...

Sounds like a Mozart-Salieri type dustup. Never a good strategy for the underdog.

As for the Wapo, I counted exactly two paragraphs before they reach the true thesis of the article: the evil Bush regime is imploding! Finally!

Irene Done said...

There's a reason why no one ever shouts "speechwriter fight! speechwriter fight!" on the playground. Just so pathetic.

Peggy Noonan has engaged in these same kinds of professional hissy fits. It makes everyone but the politician look bad.

hdhouse said...

there is the issue however, if Mr. Bush employed Shakespeare and Whitman it would still wind up sounding like Gabby Hayes.

The Exalted said...

why is scully somehow pathetic or the villain here?

if what he says is true, then gerson is a colossal scumbag who took credit for other's ideas -- and profited from the misrepresentation by getting his current gig at the dread liberal wapost.

of course ann and her minions take issue with scully and not gerson, very fitting.

Revenant said...

I'd always heard various Bush haters claim that Bush added the "axis of evil" phrase on his own. You know, because he's stupid and simplistic and blah blah blah.

I wasn't aware that anyone actually wanted to take *credit* for it.

From Inwood said...

Sounds like someone is saying "I'm the forgotten man".

I made that phrase up; really. FDR's writers stole it from me.

(Actually it was stolen, if that is the term from someone else, but nevermind.)

"Ask not what your speechwriters can write for you, ask what you can do to stop them from writing."

It's better to steal from Shakespeare or the Bible than to have petty people writing your speeches I guess. Dead men tell no tales. (Did I say that?)

I do like the phrase "bard of Bushworld" tho. Who gets credit for that?

How come no troll references to TNR & Scotty here? Like "Hey you rightwing nuts, at least Scotty writes his own lies. Bush has to have them written for him!"

Simon said...

Reader - I thought Frum penned it, too.

Simon said...

(If America had knighthoods, I would say David Frumm ought to get one for his extraordinary public service at the time of the Miers nomination.)

EnigmatiCore said...

Following him, I'd climb a mountain. I get excitement at his feet.

EnigmatiCore said...

"why is scully somehow pathetic or the villain here? "

I'm not sure he is, The Exalted.

But I am kind of curious as to why we should take his word of the events at face value.

Maybe it was this way. Maybe he has an axe to grind. Maybe both. How are we to know?

Michael said...

But is he "just jealous"?

PatCA said...

Kudos to whoever wrote Bush's speech at the National Cathedral right after 9/11. "We are here in the middle hour of our grief. .." President's Remarks at National Day of Prayer and Remembrance

It did inspire me, still does now.

Mindsteps said...

I watch Fox News exclusively so I could have sworn that GWB was referring to Paris, Brittany, and Lindsey as the axis of evil. No wonder I had problems getting on board with GWB's foreign policy!

paul a'barge said...

....What? You mean Bush isn't speaking his own words...

What is the character sequence for tongue in cheek.

You were not serious, right?