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by Michael Moore
Sunday, Nov. 05, 2000 at 9:49 AM
Michael Moore puts the Bush DUI story in persepctive -- including the pathetic failure of the corporate press. "Dirty tricks" used to refer to false stories. Nowadays it refers to true stories we weren't supposed to hear about. "Where have the big networks' investigative reporters been? -- I'll tell you where: ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL!"
Three Strikes and You're Out, Mr. Bush
With the revelation last night of the drunk driving arrest and conviction in 1976 of George W. Bush, this marks the THIRD arrest -- that we know of -- involving this man who would be President.
Let me ask you, the readers of this letter: How many times have YOU been arrested? Me, none. Most of you -- once? twice? This guy has been arrested AT LEAST THREE TIMES! How many people do you know have been arrested three times? Go ahead, do a quick count on your fingers. The answer? NONE!
Yet, we are being asked on Tuesday to vote for a man who has been arrested THREE TIMES. For President of the United States! Are they kidding? The Republicans must take us all for idiots.
The first arrest of George W. Bush was for theft at a hotel. The second arrest was for disorderly conduct at a football game. The third arrest, we've now learned, is for a very serious crime -- drunk driving. What's the next crime committed by George W. Bush that we will learn of? When will we learn it? It is time for everyone to demand the truth from Governor Bush. I'm telling you, we haven't heard the last of his criminal behavior.
But next Wednesday will be too late to find out.
The press should be ashamed of itself for its laziness. I cannot believe it took a young woman, Erin Fehlau -- at a FOX affiliate, no less -- up in Maine to stumble onto this story and do the necessary work to uncover it. Where have the big networks' investigative reporters been?
I'll tell you where: ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL!
After seeing this local Maine reporter on "Nightline" last night explain how a policewoman told her she overheard a conversation between a lawyer and a judge, and then the reporter started digging around and found out the facts, it was clear the story was not planted by the Gore campaign, as Bush and his people have been insinuating.
The real story here is how did this conviction get covered up for so many years? I spoke to a lawyer last night familiar with these kinds of cases. She said that a D.U.I., in and of itself, is not something worth covering up. Had Bush revealed this himself, he would have found the public forgiving of his infraction.
No, my lawyer friend continued, the only reason to cover it up would be that there was something ELSE connected to the arrest that night -- e.g., drugs or resisting arrest. This other potential charge could have been dropped and expunged. The reporter was shown only the court docket which listed Bush's name, address, and the charge to which he pleaded guilty. What we need to see is the actual POLICE REPORT from that night. Assuming it hasn't been doctored, that will tell us the truth.
The Bush people have already lied about the nature of the D.U.I. arrest (they said the cop pulled Bush over because he was "driving too slowly"; the arresting officer last night said it was because Bush had "swerved off on the shoulder of the road"). Bush himself lied last night when asked about the night he spent in jail. "I didn't spend time in jail," he insisted. The officer told the local reporter that Bush, in fact, was handcuffed, taken to the station, and held in custody for at least an hour and a half.
This is not just some simple traffic ticket. I don't want to hear one word comparing this drunk driving conviction to Clinton's transgressions. Lying about consensual sex you had with another adult is NOT the same as getting behind the wheel of a car when you are drunk and endangering the lives of others (including the life of your own sister, Mr. Bush, who was in the car with you that night).
It is NOT the same as Gore volunteering he smoked pot in his youth. That act endangered no one's life and he did not try to cover it up.
And don't tell us that the drunk driving and the "drinking problem" was just a "youthful indiscretion." You were NOT a "youth" when you were in your THIRTIES on the night you were arrested while careening off the road. The fact is, according to your own admission (if not in these words), you were a drunk and a bum 'til the age of 40, living off your rich daddy who spent his time bailing you out of trouble.
For crying out loud -- if any Republican is reading this, I implore you: this man does not deserve to be placed in the highest and most respected office in the land! Bush voters, come to your senses! If you can't bring yourself to vote for Nader or Gore, then show your love for your country and just stay home next Tuesday.
Please, save our nation this incredible, unfolding, never-ending embarrassment.
P.S. Last night, just as the news was breaking about George W. Bush's arrest and conviction for driving while drunk, I sent out an open letter to Governor Bush, asking him to answer three questions which I believe affect our national security:
1. Are you, Mr. Bush, unable to read and write on an adult level?
2. Are you an alcoholic and, if so, how will this affect your performance as Commander-in-Chief?
3. You say that you have not committed any felonies since 1975. What felonies did you commit PRIOR to that date?
I implore our nation's media to demand answers to these questions before Tuesday's election. The people have a right to know.
P.P.S. "The Awful Truth" is pre-empted tonight. Our election special marathon is on Bravo, this Sunday afternoon, beginning at 4:30 PM ET.
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