Journalism in the Public Interest

White House Updates Bush’s Biography: Less Prosperity, More BBQ

ChangeTracker noticed wide changes to the biography of No. 43. (ChangeTracker/Versionista)ChangeTracker, our handy tool that watches for changes on White House Web sites, noticed wide changes to the biography of George W. Bush.

References to Bush creating “prosperity” through “an ownership society” are stripped in the new version, and praise of the No Child Left Behind Act has been softened.

We contacted the White House for comment, and a spokesman told us that the version of the biography currently on is actually not new, but an old one written at the end of the Bush administration.

Our research says otherwise. The biography preserved in the National Archives is a near-perfect match for the old version, suggesting that the version now on is, indeed, new. (Peter Bray, founder of Versionista, the system that drives ChangeTracker, just wrote a piece in Slate about the changes.)

Other changes were less political.

Feline fanciers might be upset by the unceremonious deletion of the family cat, India “Willie” Bush, who passed in January. But, the addition that the president and first lady “met at a friend’s backyard barbeque” is certain to satisfy Texans.

So, what do you think? Are the victors rewriting history, or is this just a tempest in a Twitter?

In exchange for the deletion about how he created an ownership society, the bio becomes more and more loose with the facts.

to the victor belong the spoils and any rewrite they deem to downplay the previous occupant. put the cat back in.

The comparative differences are merely cosmetic. I believe they were, in fact, written by a Bush-league writer. This fantasy bio needs to be re-written to reflect reality instead of portraying this man as actually having accomplished something.

If the Cheney/Bush White House wrote the first version (slanted pro), and the Obama White House edited the first version (slanted con)...perhaps the next White House will get it right? History takes a while.

I think I’d rewrite it too if I were him.


May 4, 2009, 10:23 a.m.

It is very interested to see how govt change its vision. Bush was certainly not what he claimed to be.

Bush looks great after he done so much USA, on the other hand USA would look better after new Gorbi came to the power.
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