Originally posted by eldritch11:
A little too well-documented to be spun, don't you think? Sound bytes and opinions expressed as fact, with no research, are more of a 'spin' thing.
Not really. Spin is defined as "to provide an interpretation of (a statement or event, for example), especially in a way meant to sway public opinion". Whether or not it's well documented isn't at issue, it's the interpretation of deeper meaning in those facts and how they are presented that constitutes spin.
I'll give you one example of how this relates to the book you linked to-
In the chapter Thyroid Storm (love that heading) certain actions of Bush were defined repeatedly as "psychotic behavior". Among those actions were Bush giving an obscene gesture in answer to farmers who shouted insults to him in Europe, and his being ill and vomiting in Japan.
For one thing, these are not, in the true sense, psychotic behavior. Psychosis is a severe condition punctuated by an inability to function efficiently in society. Anyone in the position of President could not be psychotic by definition.
Secondly, I found it interesting that the facts of Bush's public chunk-blowing as written could have just as easily been interpreted in an opposite manner. The book states:
"Then came Bush's visit to Japan, crowned by his seizure at a state dinner in the official residence of Prime Minister Miyazawa. Bush had vomited at least once before the dinner. "I got a preview in the receiving line. I turned to the prime minister and said, 'Would you please excuse me,' and I rushed into the men's room there. And I thought that had taken care of it, but back I came. It hadn't been halted. It was just the beginning." [fn 75] According to Treasury Secretary Brady, Bush had been urged to skip the state dinner altogether by his personal physician, Dr. Burton Lee, but Bush had rejected this advice out of hand, saying that his absence would "disrupt" the proceedings. After the vomiting and fainting scene was over, Bush was asked if he intended to slow down. "Nope," Bush retorted. It's just a 24-hour flu." The truth about Bush's collapse in Tokyo has yet to be told; but it was clear that Bush had learned nothing, and was still determined to impose his will on the universe."
Another book could name this behavior as indicative of responsability and dedication. I'm sure you or someone you know has shown up for work when they were ill enough that staying in bed would have been at healthier choice. But they went to work anyway out of a sense of responsibility, perhaps for their family.
Bush could have been defined as being so determined to complete the job he set out to do that he refused his doctor's advice.
Clearly, the authors had much more in mind than simply listing well documented facts.
That the president was sick is documented fact. The interpretation of his behavior indicating a determination to impose his will on the universe is an opinion, and a grossly exaggerated one at that. The same as claiming this behavior to be psychotic; it's not only extreme but inaccurate.
Now, don't fall into the all too common trap of beliving that this observation is evident of some personal need of mine to defend George Bush. It simply means that I require accuracy, and save the creation of my opinions for myself. Besides, I'm sure there are many other facts to bring to light than those, or some puppy-beating anecdote, don't you think?
By all means, if it disagrees with your politics, ignore it.
Relax. I'm arguably the only person on these boards who isn't the least bit interested in forwarding some political agenda. Logic, accuracy, and an awareness of the political spin of others is my concern here. I uphold the rules of logical debate.
Don't worry, there's lots of actual assholes to fight with here.