The Bush Dyslexicon

Ever since December 12, 2000, I’ve been obsessed: How did this weird cross between Bluto Blutarsky (John Belushi, in Animal House) and Lonesome Rhodes (Andy Griffith, in Elia Kazan’s 1956 film A Face in the Crowd) ever make it into the White House? The author of this book, just reissued in an updated paperback edition, does a better job of answering that question than anyone else does. As Miller, a professor of media studies at NYU, frames it early on, Bush is no dummy; he may be ignorant by choice, but he’s fox-smart—and meaner than a cornered wolverine. And, although it can be argued that the so-called liberal corporate media gave him a pass (i.e., a Bush regime would be more open to the ongoing consolidation of the media’s corporate owners), a deeper reason that Bush and the media were such a good fit is he embodied the media’s substance-free message perfectly. Eye of Sauron indeed.