USA Today Founder: I Was Wrong, Bush Is Worst President Ever

In his President’s Day commentary, USA Today founder Al Neuharth says that he once disputed the idea the George W. Bush was America’s Worst President Ever — but now he has seen the light:

Millions of people saw through Bush’s bluster from the get-go, while the people who control the media, and thus the message, completely bought into the packaging of Bush as a strong and decisive leader whose only failing was his stubbornness about protecting freedom.

A year ago I criticized Hillary Clinton for saying “this (Bush) administration will go down in history as one of the worst.”

“She’s wrong,” I wrote. Then I rated these five presidents, in this order, as the worst: Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan, Ulysses Grant, Hoover and Richard Nixon. “It’s very unlikely Bush can crack that list,” I added.

I was wrong. This is my mea culpa. Not only has Bush cracked that list, but he is planted firmly at the top.

Recognizing that we have a problem is a good first step, Al. But shouldn’t your hair be on fire? Our government is in the hands of the most incompetent, dimwitted and dishonest president ever. What are you going to do about it?

Hard reporting has been in short supply recently. What the USA needs today, Al, is the best journalism you can muster. The public needs to know the real reason Bush and Cheney took the country to war in Iraq. We still don’t know who from Enron was involved in writing Cheney’s energy policy in 2001. And — this may seem trivial and personal, but it isn’t — we need to know if Bush has started drinking again. Unlike Pres. Clinton’s sex life, Bush’s ability to cope with the pressures of the presidency are a matter of grave national security concern.


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  • February 17, 2007 - 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Neuharth has actually been critical of Bush for quite awhile (at least three years, if not longer). It’s interesting to see that his former number one pick for WPE was previously the same as mine — Andrew Jackson. I guess we both have revised our estimate.

  • nikolai
    February 18, 2007 - 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Trish (and Neuharth) why Andrew Jackson over Andrew Johnson? Granted, Jackson wasn’t a very good president, but Johnson was MUCH more ineffective and worse overall…

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