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Tsunami of Controversy

Saturday, January 1, 2005; Page A21

Normally I reject the idea that The Post is institutionally biased against President Bush, but the Dec. 29 front-page article regarding Bush's "absence" during the tsunami crisis in South Asia is truly inexplicable in any other way.

The article claims that "skeptics" criticize Bush for remaining in Texas, but it does not quote a single individual making that claim, except for the reporters themselves. A quotation from Leslie Gelb says nothing about Bush personally, and neither does a quotation from Wesley Clark. The writers of the articles are the ones who make that analysis, paraphrasing the speakers. I have to believe that if either one had said anything directly about Bush, that the quotation would be in the article rather than one obscurely and allegedly referring to Bush. The only other quotation in the article on this matter is from an unidentified "administration official familiar with relief efforts," with the truly stunning and juvenile comment, "It's kind of freaky." When do sentences like that pass editing muster for The Post?


(A Woman Looks Through What Is Left Of Her House In Nagapattinam)

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Perhaps the holidays have left the editing staff short-handed, and silly articles are more likely to get into the paper between Christmas and New Year's Day, but I expected better from The Post.

-- Jeff Lord

McLean

I find President Bush's long-delayed response to the horrific tsunami disaster in Asia typical of the insensitivity of his administration to events beyond the borders of the United States. The president was "Johnny on the Spot" when it came to responding to the hurricanes in Florida by handing out water to ensure that every bottle guaranteed a vote.

It is a pity that he has taken so long to make a statement regarding a disaster that will be more than the equivalent of Sept. 11 to the countries affected. It is apparent that his political capital can spend hundreds of billions of dollars on a senseless war in Iraq while sending a few token millions to deal with a humanitarian crisis of biblical proportions. Alas, Babylon!

-- Michael S. Honegger

Rehoboth Beach


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