Monday, August 13, 2007

Even Bush's speechwriter had ghost writers

This is the man who took credit for the "axis of evil" phrase.

I found this article in the Washington Post.

Bush's Muse Stands Accused
Speeches Weren't His, Colleague Says
By Peter Baker
August 11, 2007

He has been hailed as the best White House speechwriter since Kennedy's Theodore Sorensen, the muse behind President Bush's most famous phrases, the moral conscience of the West Wing. But now Michael J. Gerson is accused by a former colleague of taking credit for words he did not write.

According to Matthew Scully, who worked with him for five years, Gerson is not the bard of Bushworld but rather a "self-publicizing" glory hog guilty of "foolish vanity," "sheer pettiness" and "credit hounding." In Scully's account, 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.' "

Scully's blistering portrait of one of the president's most prominent former advisers in the new issue of the Atlantic touched off an intense pushback by the White House yesterday as top Bush aides jumped to defend Gerson as the victim of a jealous associate. But the internecine feuding may signal something broader than pride of authorship. Scully's 10-page indictment represents the sort of classic Washington tell-all once rare in an administration known for discipline and loyalty...

[And here's where the "Axis of Evil" came from:]

...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...

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