Hallelujah! Bush Forgives A Pedophile!
George Bush’s campaign is in the center of a major storm for repeatedly using the music of a notorious convicted pedophile rock star at its campaign rallies in recent weeks. George Bush has been seen by millions of people on TV in recent weeks - grinning and holding babies at campaign rallies while the song “Rock And Roll Part 2” blares in the background. But that song is the signature hit of British glam-rock star Gary Glitter – who in 1999 was convicted of possession of horrific kiddie porn – including over 4,000 graphic images of boys and girls as young as 2-years-old being brutally raped.
The use of Glitter’s music by Bush was publicly exposed by top political columnist Lloyd Grove following a tip from me. It was the lead story in Grove’s “Lowdown” column in the New York Daily News on Thursday (October 14th) – an item headlined “Glitter bugs Bush rallies.” The story was immediately followed up by top-circulation British daily newspaper The Mirror – which contacted the Bush team for an explanation of why the English pedophile’s music is one of the campaign’s favorite tunes – frequently played as Bush works the rope-line before and after speeches.
A deeply embarrassed Bush campaign spokesman informed the newspaper that the music had now been dropped and would never be used again. Asked why they had been playing the music of a notorious pedophile rock star whose arrest, courtroom admission and conviction for possession of staggering quantities of child-rape pornography had received worldwide media coverage - the spokesman claimed “we didn’t know.” This statement appeared in the UK Mirror on Friday October 15th.
Unfortunately for the Bush campaign – which is legendary for its micro-management and precision planning – the claim directly contradicts a definitive statement that Team Bush made 4 years ago – by chance on virtually the same date - October 13th 2000.
That is because the entire situation is a blow-by-blow replay of a scandal that erupted in October of 2000. Same song by the same convicted pedophile rock star. Used by the same presidential candidate. Exposed by the same political commentator (that would be me!) Same challenge to the campaign by the same British newspaper. Same dumping of the song by the Bush team. And same claim of ignorance of Gary Glitter’s pedophile conviction by the campaign.
Spool back four years ago to October 2000... Time Magazine’s website TIME.com ran a news story on October 8th 2000 that I researched and wrote as part of my coverage for Time of the 2000 presidential campaign. Titled “All That Glitters…” it revealed that the Bush campaign was using the Gary Glitter song as one of Bush’s main musical themes. And I pointed out the peculiarity of this given how assiduously Bush was courting the evangelical vote and his constant proclamations about morality and integrity. The British daily tabloid The Mirror followed up on my expose on October 13th with a story by Foreign Editor Mark Dowdney headlined: “Bush Recruits Pervert Glitter.”
I spoke to Dowdney shortly after his story ran and heard first-hand how he had called Bush campaign headquarters in Austin and had discovered that my TIME.com piece had set the proverbial cat among the pigeons. He was told that the song had been immediately withdrawn from use. He was given the following statement that he printed verbatim in The Mirror: "We had no idea it was one of Glitter's songs. We just thought it was a catchy number. Most of our people don't know who he is, but now his background has been explained to us, you will not hear it again at a Governor Bush rally."
I wrote a follow-up piece in TIME.com on October 24th titled “The Glitter’s Gone!” chronicling the recent developments. And in a third piece I wrote for TIME.com on January 15th 2001 previewing the music to be played at the Bush inaugural – I reported that we were unlikely to hear a live performance of the most frequently played tune at Bush’s campaign rallies - Gary Glitter's "Rock And Roll Part Two” - since “the British glam-rock pioneer has a previous engagement — in an English prison for possession of kiddie porn.”
As my first piece had resulted in the expunging of the Glitter record faster than you can say “Bush military record” – and my two follow-up columns had hammered the point in rather unambiguous terms (all three pieces are still available on the TIME.com website) I assumed that the words “Gary Glitter” had been entered into Karl Rove’s infamous political manual with the notation “bad news – only play at private hoe-downs and cross burnings.”
So how did it happen that just four years after that embarrassing withdrawal and the campaign’s explicit promise to forever ban the music of Gary Glitter – that George Bush spent most of this August, September and October serenading members of the Christian Coalition, evangelicals, fundamentalists and their children all over America with the music of a widely-reviled pedophile?
Having now broken the story twice – this week I telephoned Bush-Cheney press spokesman Danny Diaz and asked him how the campaign chose its music. This is what he told me:
“The campaign chooses music that creates the right mood for its events. The choice of music is pretty consistent. It’s music that speaks to the vast majority of people.”
I can only imagine how “Rock And Roll Part 2” speaks to Bush supporters…
Was the reinstatement of Gary Glitter’s music on the George Bush playlist a mistake? No that’s not possible. One thing we have all learned about George Bush is that he never makes mistakes. And neither does his administration or campaign. He has bashfully confirmed his invincibility by being unable to name a single mistake in his 4 –year presidency.
So here is my theory of how Gary Glitter’s music - which Bush so visibly enjoys hearing as he works the crowd - made its way back onto the Bush playlist.
Liberals and Democrats are very cynical about George Bush’s faith and they just don’t understand that this is a very decent compassionate man. He doesn’t just TALK about compassion – he DELIVERS it. He obviously found it in his heart to completely forgive Gary Glitter for having downloaded 4,000 images of little boys and girls aged between 2 and 10 being brutally raped.
Instead of constantly berating George Bush and proclaiming him a hypocrite without compassion – I believe it is the solemn duty of every liberal to make reparations to George Bush. And the best way to do this is to make sure that every member of the Christian Coalition, every evangelical, fundamentalist and God-fearing, church-going, conservative in America is made fully aware of how forgiving George Bush has been to this convicted pedophile. And they should be made fully aware of the gravity and extent of Gary Glitter’s admitted crimes – including the 4,000 child-rape images – the better to appreciate George Bush’s wonderful capacity for forgiveness.
And after all the abuse that has been heaped on Bush in this Presidential campaign – I think it is imperative that this message of praise for George Bush be heard loud and clear well before election day…
Lloyd Grove’s story in the New York Daily News – Thursday October 14th 2004 http://www.nydailynews.com/10-14-2004/front/story/241985p-207513c.html
News story in The Mirror (UK) – Friday October 15th 2004 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/tm_objectid=14757672&method=full&siteid=50143&headline=kerry-ahead-in-tv-showdown-name_page.html
My story in TIME.com (2000) that broke the original story – Weds. October 11th 2000 http://www.time.com/time/campaign2000/email/email_1011.html
News story in The Mirror (UK) – Friday October 13th 2000 Available on Lexis-Nexis
My story in TIME.com (2000) that wrapped-up the original story – Tues. October 24th 2000 http://www.time.com/time/campaign2000/email/email_1024.html
My column in TIME.com (2001) explaining Gary Glitter’s non-availability to perform at the Bush inaugural – Monday January 15th 2001 http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,95274,00.html