Monitor: All the News of the World US press- response to speculation that Governor George Bush used illegal drugs

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The Independent Culture
ALTHOUGH THE press has an obligation to probe a candidate's personal and political record, not every blot is worth a front-page flogging. Reporters on the campaign trail could more profitably be telling us about Mr Bush's record. The press has an obligation to check rumors out. But it also has an obligation to deal fairly with its targets. That means not using mere suspicion to cloud a person's good name. And it means giving readers, viewers and listeners the real information they need to sort out the political choices that confront them. (Barbara Cummings)

LA Times

BUSH CONSISTENTLY has said: "When I was young and irresponsible, I behaved young and irresponsibly." What else would we have him say? To what end? By forcing qualified candidates to confess the sins of their youth, we embarrass ourselves and our children. We also endanger the supply of good people willing to live public lives. After the Inquisition, who's left? (Kathleen Parker) Delaware County Daily Times

IS THERE a principled way to approach the "pasts" of our would-be leaders? Yes. The test should be not whether they have sinned, but whether they have matured. Part of maturity is repentance. By this standard, Bill Clinton would never have passed muster. He spent the campaign of 1992 lying and dissembling. Part of what is getting Bush in trouble now seems to be his unwilling-ness to lie - and after eight years of mendacity, that is downright refreshing. (Mona Charen)

The Daily Gazette, NY

BUSH TOLD The Dallas Morning News he could answer the standard FBI background check about use of drugs in the last seven years with a "no". But his adamant refusal to answer the "did you ever" question appears to have been taken as a challenge by some to bully him into a "yes" or "no" statement. I'd suggest that energy could be better directed to pressuring Bush into giving the public a few more clues about the ideas and policies he intends to offer. (David Broder)

The Washington Post