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MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann are 2 'sick puppies,' Bush I says

October 16, 2009 |  5:54 pm

PresidentsallFiveap

According to former President George H.W. Bush, civility in American public discourse has worsened in recent years.

"I don't like it," the 85-year-old ex-president said shortly before civilly hosting current president Barack Obama in Texas to celebrate volunteerism. "The cables (TV) have a lot to do with it." The full text of Obama's gracious remarks at Texas A&M are now available here.

Bush said the current president is entitled to "civil treatment and intellectual honesty when it comes to critics."

But Bush told CBS Radio News the volume of presidential criticism is higher now than during his 1989-1993 term in office. "It's not just the right," Bush added. "There are plenty of people on the left."

Then he singled out two little-known and predictable talkers on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann, calling them both "sick puppies." That could help their ratings.

"When our son was president," Bush stated, "they just hammered him mercilessly and I think obscenely a lot of the time. And now it's moved to a new president."

Bush said presidents have come in for tough criticism throughout U.S. history. But, he added calmly, "People ought to be civil. I worry about yelling at people and this yelling mentality that seems to accompany presidents."

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press
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