President Bush Is Well-Known
For Being Extremely Profane -
But That Isn't The Story

By Doug Thompson
Capital Hill Blue
Every time we publish a major story that puts some elected official in a bad light we get a chorus of boos from detractors who claim everything we publish is garbage and/or just a figment of an overactive imagination.
From 1994 until 2001, when Bill Clinton led the follies at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the cackle of disapproval came from hardcore Democrats who couldn't believe we would dare question the actions of their beloved President.
Since 2001, the rabid right-wing packed the cheap seats and showered us with catcalls because we uncovered the many misdeeds of George W. Bush and the questionable Republican leadership of Congress.
Oh, we still get raspberries from the lefties. They remember what we wrote about Clinton and we still go after Democrats who screw up. To partisans, anyone who doesn't write from a politically-biased point of view is automatically suspect.
Our latest story on President Bush's disrespectful comments on the Constitution ("it's just a goddamned piece of paper") brought the usual flurry of emails from readers who wanted to let us know that (insert name of web site here) is (pick one) "questioning your integrity/calling you a clown/saying your web site is a joke/etc."
Often, when we check into who's calling us what we find the questions come from an anonymous poster on a bulletin board or a partisan blogger who publishes under a nom de plume. They question both our use of anonymous sources and the credibility of those sources.
There is a laughable irony that comes from some keyboard commando who hides behind an anonymous "handle" criticizing us for publishing a story that uses anonymous sources.
The first journalism award I won, a Feature Writing First Place from The Virginia Press Association in 1967, came from a story about an anonymous teenager in Roanoke who obtained an abortion that was illegal at the time. I've won more than 30 journalism awards over the last 38 years and about half of them for stories that depended heavily on anonymous sources.
In a political system where retaliation rules, you can't expose corruption or misdeeds by depending entirely on those willing to allow use of their names. Without anonymous sources, the truth about Watergate would never have emerged. The Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting most often goes to a newspaper story or series of stories that depends heavily on use of anonymous sources.
We put our reputation on the line every time we publish a story that depends on information from anonymous sources. Sometimes we get burned and when we do we admit it publicly, take our well-deserved lumps, and move on.
In 2003, we published reports that intelligence professionals had raised doubts about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and questioned claims of a link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Our detractors claimed we made the whole thing up. Two years later, we were proven right.
Last year, when we published reports on the President's increasing temper tantrums, the doubters again claimed the reports were fantasy. Yet mainstream media outlets reported the same thing this year. We were rightand we got it first.
We were the first news outlet to identify the names of women who claimed sexual abuse by Bill Clinton when he was attorney general and later governor of Arkansas. We were the first news outlet to report on the ethical problems of many members of Congress in our series: America's Criminal Class: The Congress of the United States. And we were the first to report on the abuse of underage girls on teen model web sites. Links to all of these award-winning stories can be found on our home page.
That doesn't mean you should take everything we print as gospel. Never do that with us or any other news source. Do your own research and reach your own conclusions. And consider the record of the sources you use for news and information. We've published more than 25,000 stories since going online on October 1, 1994, and we've had to retract two of them. That's a record I'm willing to stand on.
So, the next time somebody calls Capitol Hill Blue a "garbage site" or claims I'm a clown, ask them for their qualifications and background. Did they get their information from credible sources or some anonymous poster on a partisan bulletin board or a blogger with a political ax to grind?
My bio can be found on this link. I put my name on everything I write. And I stand behind what I write. I'm an arrogant, stubborn, driven bastard who takes no prisoners and backs down from no one.
When I'm wrong, I admit it. Thankfully, I haven't had to do that very often.
When I'm right I don't give a damn who doesn't like it or what they say about it.
An editor who taught me a lot once said: "If you piss off both sides you're doing your job."
That's good enough for me.
After Capital Hill Blue released the story about Bush's outburst referring to the U.S. Constitution as a "G-dd-amned piece of paper," there has been an outpouring of demands for the journal to reveal its sources so they can ostensibly be grilled by the neo-con worshippers for letting slip how much Bush is losing it.
The truth is that this demand for sources is a complete smokescreen and spin to try to discredit an alternative news site which on every occaision has been proven right about its initial reports. Each story CHB has published about Bush's cursing, tantrums and violent outburts which came from anonymous sources have been later confirmed by mainstream news outlets such as the New York Daily News.
The supplemental spin on the story is to redirect the outrage away from the context of Bush's statement to the President's language itself. The controversy becomes his use of an expletive rather than the fact that he is stomping on the greatest symbol of our republic. Everyone is clinging to the curse words but the really damaging element of Bush's tantrum is that it reveals he is aware that he is destroying everything printed on that "piece of paper."
The neo-cons must not have their way and spin this seven ways to Sunday. We must remind people that what's at stake here is not whether or not we have a profane president (although we know we do) but that we have an immature manchild at the figurative helm of the nation who is knowingly crushing our God-given rights - to enhance his power (and the power of his masters).



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