Last month’s review of the media (See “In Defense of Cover-ups”), in which I speculated about why the Bush administration hardly ever took the trouble to reply to the ever shriller chorus of its critics, had gone to press only the day before it was leaked to The New York Times that the President was at last, in a Veterans’ Day speech in Pennsylvania, about to answer back. Here’s how Richard W. Stevenson and David S. Cloud reported the news for the Times: “Faced with a bleak public mood about Iraq and stung by Democratic accusations that he led the nation into war on false pretenses, President Bush is beginning a new effort to shore up his credibility and cast his critics as hypocrites.” Does that sound to you as if Richard W. Stevenson and David S. Cloud thought that the “credibility” which President Bush was trying to “shore up” was an item worthy of respect? Do you suppose they...


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