The Huffington Post’s bizarre attack on former President George W. Bush

The Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim is accusing former President George W. Bush of “lifting” anecdotes and quotes in his recently released memoir, “Decision Points.”

It’s a strange charge. Nowhere does Grim say the former president plagiarized, per se, but that is exactly the thrust of Grim’s article. The book is “a mash-up of worn-out anecdotes from previously published memoirs written by his subordinates, from which Bush lifts quotes word for word, passing them off as his own recollections,” he writes.

As evidence, Grim cites how closely some of the quotes in the book match up with quotes in other books written about the Bush presidency.

In most of those cases, Bush was physically present for the scene he describes. In that sense, charging him for recollecting the events the same way others did is rather weird, indeed.

According to Mike Allen’s Politico Playbook, legendary Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward said about Grim’s report, “There are many, many similarities because I, others and Bush were writing about the same events. I read his book this week and I think it is unfair to say he lifted material.”

Perhaps the strongest case Grim makes regards quotes in Bush’s memoir from events he was not present for.

“In many cases, he was relying on the written record (NSC notes, as I did in some cases) or the recollections of those involved, including himself,” Woodward told Politico.

A source close to the former president notes that in some cases, Bush was actually the source of the “lifted” quotes to the journalists who wrote about them.

While alleging a serious charge on shaky evidence, Grim does not pretend he is coming at the issue objectively. Instead, his deep disdain for Bush leaps out from the page.

For instance, Grim jokes the book is evidence “Bush [does] know how to read,” as if that were in question.

Perhaps colored by his obvious disdain of Bush, Grim made a serious charge that, in view of the evidence, is seriously bizarre. The best he could have done is that “Decision Points” would make boring reading for White House memoir addicts.

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  • southernandproud

    Couldn’t care less what the HP thinks or says.

  • truebearing

    How stupid is this moron from the Huffington Post? The fact that the accounts of events match up with other writers and co-participants in those events, strongly suggests great integrity, not plagiarism. Maybe Grim thinks he’s writing fairy tails.

    The Huffington Post has no standards and less integrity, and the only thing that exceeds their failure in the two previous categories is the head banging stupidity of writing attack pieces that succeed only in attacking themselves.

    Now would be a good time for a Thesaurus emptying bout of name calling and insults, but why waste good insults on the Huffpo? They aren’t even worth that.

  • aaarrrggg

    I am amazed that anyone would bother with HuffPO.
    There headlines are often misleading, the stories full of innuendo with a lot of did, could he, Ect.
    I post on the site occasionally, and for the most part have found the posters, even though they claim superior intellignece, not to be the sharpest knives in the drawer.
    It is almost like JR HIgh revisisted.

    But you gotta give Arianna credit she is making a fortune off these dolts.
    And she was smart enough to hire Axelrod’s son, ( yeah no bias here)