SHOCKER: Bush's new domestic policy advisor unethical

News & Politics

The WaPo reports: "Karl Zinsmeister, President Bush's new domestic policy adviser, acknowledged he did something wrong when he took a newspaper profile of himself, altered quotes and text, and then posted it on a Web site without noting the changes."

In one example, the original article attributed to Zinsmeister this quote: "People in Washington are morally repugnant, cheating, shifty human beings."
But, on the institute site, it appeared as: "I learned in Washington that there is an 'overclass' in this country stocked with cheating, shifty human beings that's just as morally repugnant as our 'underclass.'"
I'll ignore, for now, the mind-addling dismay of a domestic policy advisor who refers to the American underclass (a term generally used to refer to endemic poverty stretching across generations with little means of escape and most perpetuated by conservative policies) as "morally repugnant," since that would require a whole other post, with at least one tangent about how equal parts nauseating and refreshing it is to see someone of Zinsmeister's position be so nakedly honest about how not compassionately conservative he is.

After the profile was published in the Syracuse New Times, Zinsmeister reposted it on the website of the American Enterprise Institute, for whom he serves as editor in chief, making the surreptitious edits because, he claims, he was trying to "correct the record while protecting a young journalist who had made mistakes." Said young journalist, Justin Park, however, is rather surprised by the explanation, considering that "he had received a laudatory e-mail from Zinsmeister after the profile was published."


Zinsmeister shrugs off the whole thing by saying he expects "people to dig through his vast writings as he prepares to start his White House job."
There's so much insincerity in the political discourse. I write very bluntly and I know that, and the president knew that when he picked me. That's somewhat of the bond between us.
Aww. Very sweet. I bet the bonding over being lying douchebags is worth its weight in gold, too.

As for digging through his past writings, well, Garance Franke-Ruta has obliged, finding some gems about Zinsmeister's attitude toward the press that might explain his ethical lapse more plausibly than his stated concern for a young journalist.


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