Add the Center for Public Integrity to the small list of leftist organizations still bent on smearing George W. Bush. They blasted this to my inbox this morning a piece from former Ramparts editor Peter Stone implying that the reason Bush didn't attend Obama's Ground Zero ceremony was because Obama didn't offer to pay him a speaker's fee:
When George W. Bush declined President Barack Obama’s invitation to a ceremony at New York City’s Ground Zero after Osama bin Laden was killed, the former president cited his desire to keep a low public profile.
But Bush has been high profile on the private, paid speaking circuit: he has raked in millions of dollars since he left office by making scores of speeches that typically earn him six figures a pop.
Are the folks at CPI really suggesting that Bush not wanting to give a prominent public appearance in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden - a choice that has been roundly applauded in the national media as a classy move - is a hypocritical act? They really can't make the distinction to saying no to this appearance because of the politics of the moment, while giving speaking tours like all former presidents (who we all know give speeches for flowers and fruit baskets, not dirty dirty money)?
This is just the latest ridiculous attack from CPI's new poorly-named "iWatchNews" portal, which recently launched a vile slander of Gov. Mitch Daniels' time at Eli Lilly - which established no connection between Daniels and the marketing-focused lawsuits against Lilly during the 1990s, falsely depicted Daniels' role within the company as having any responsibility for the matters they were sued over (Daniels was in charge of Lilly's number crunching, not their ad campaigns), and prominently quoted employees of Ralph Nader without sharing that fact.
In reaction to my piece detailing CPI's failure to build a rational or balanced case on their Daniels assault, their communications director commented - calling the Nader employee an "industry analyst" - that the piece had merit because:
"Daniels is running for president."
While this is certainly possible, one Indiana emailer responded: "Really? Wow, they're all about breaking news at the Center for Public Integrity!"
At least they're consistent in their ridiculousness.