Laura Bush Tags 'Adversarial, Offensive' Reporters at WaPo, N.Y. Times

April 30th, 2010 6:55 AM

First Lady Laura Bush is "settling scores" in her new memoir, reported Washington Post writer Ann Gerhart on Thursday, and several reporters from the New York Times and The Washington Post are called out:

The New York Times' Jason DeParle interviewed her "in a tone that was adversarial and more than a touch offensive." [DeParle is the Times reporter whose wife currently works for Obama.]

Jim VandeHei, then at The Washington Post, appalled her in Egypt when, during a presentation by the director of the Giza pyramid excavation project, he "elbowed his way to the front of the press pool, climbed onto the pyramid plateau and began shouting out questions" about Egyptian politics.

As an ever-watchful monitor of how her husband was portrayed in the press, she confronted Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times for using in a story an anecdote about George W. Bush at Yale that Laura Bush writes wasn't true. "While the truth may not be as interesting, it is the truth," she chides.

Then there is the anonymous female TV personality who steals hand towels:

Pilfering is a problem at the White House; guests sometimes walked out with hand towels stuffed in their jackets or purses; flatware disappeared from tables. "One prominent television personality [mmmm . . . who?!] was known for having a collection of White House paper hand towels, monogrammed with the presidential seal, in her powder room. She had 'accumulated' them when she came for interviews."

None of this material was on the front page of the Style section, where the article began. The only data the Post allowed on the front page was their favorite tidbit, that Mrs. Bush is liberal on abortion and homosexuality: 

She recounts the moment when Katie Couric asked her if she believed the law permitting abortion should be overturned, and she expands her answer from then only slightly:

"We are a nation of different generations and beliefs, seeing issues through different eras and different eyes. While cherishing life, I have always believed that abortion is a private decision, and there, no one can walk in anyone else's shoes," she writes.

On gay marriage, she writes that before the beginning of the 2004 presidential campaign, "I had talked to George about not making gay marriage a significant issue. We have, I reminded him, a number of close friends who are gay or whose children are gay. But at that moment I could never have imagined what path this issue would take and where it would lead."

Gerhart snapped: "It led, of course, to a divisiveness which persists in American politics." Liberal reporters call an issue "divisive" when they cannot believe conservatives haven't surrendered yet.