Who’s Classless Now?

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By now, most people have heard about the exchange between George W. Bush and newly elected Congressman Jim Webb of Virginia. To refresh your memory: At a White House reception, Bush asked Webb, “How’s your boy?”, referring to the Congressman’s son Jimmy, who is serving in Iraq. “I’d like to get them out of there,” Webb replied, and Bush said “I didn’t ask you that, I asked how’s he doing.”

“That’s between me and my boy,” was Webb’s final statement to Bush. Webb, not known for verbal niceties, was immediately attacked by the press. George Will called him a boor, Bill O’Reilly called him “rude” and “disrespectful,” and The National Review called him “classless.”

Here is the rest of the story, according to Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia: Jimmy Webb was recently standing next to a vehicle in Iraq that was blown up. All three Marines in the vehicle were killed. Before the reception, Bush was briefed on the young Webb’s close call, and was also warned to be extra sensitive in discussing him with his father.

So there you are. Just imagine if Bush hadn’t been warned.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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