Newspaper fouls NBA star
Is Jeb Bush orchestrating a 2016 draft (with help from his brother)?
That sound you hear is a draft — an effort to entice Jeb Bush into the presidential race.
And now his own family is leading it.
Those comments the other day by George W. Bush were more than just a scoop for CNN’s Jake Tapper. "I hope Jeb runs," the 43rd president said. "I think he would be a great president. I have no clue what's going on in his mind and we will talk when he's ready. I noticed he's moving around the country quite a bit."
Now it’s entirely possible that George has no idea what Jeb is going to do. But there is absolutely no question in my mind that the former governor of Florida told the former governor of Texas that it was all right to make those remarks. There is no way an experienced politician would make those remarks about his brother without a little private chat.
So why does Jeb want this out there? Because he is, in my view, starting to shape a climate where he can jump in—not to mention countering that comment by their mother that the country has had enough Bushes.
That doesn’t mean Jeb has made up his mind. But politics is all about preserving options. And what better surrogate than an ex-president?
Jeb Bush has long seemed ambivalent about trying to become the third family member to occupy the White House. But he is sending signals that he’s seriously rethinking it, starting with that interview with Fox’s Shannon Bream in which he tested the conservative waters with those comments about illegal immigration as an “act of love.”
The media, as I’ve noted, are more than ready for a Jeb candidacy, especially as Chris Christie’s star has faded.
Check out this New York Times piece. Stories like this don’t appear out of thin air:
“Jeb Bush’s increasingly serious and public examination of a run for president has shaken the ranks of establishment Republican donors and fund-raisers who had planned to back Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey in 2016, forcing many of them to rethink their allegiance to the embattled governor.
“In private conversations that are now seeping into public view, some of them are signaling to Mr. Christie’s camp that, should Mr. Bush enter the race, their first loyalty would be to him, not to Mr. Christie, according to interviews with more than two dozen of them.
“Many of those who, because of geography and personal ties, were expected to line up behind Mr. Christie say they now feel torn. And it is clear that Mr. Christie’s recent troubles, especially the George Washington Bridge scandal, are adding to the allure of Mr. Bush, a former Florida governor.”
The media are adding to Mr. Bush’s allure as well. And if he wants to quietly generate a clamor for his candidacy, Jeb is doing a pretty deft job of it.
Newspaper fouls NBA star
The Oklahoman is sorry — very, very sorry — that it ran a negative headline about its biggest local athlete.
And the apology to Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder is rather abject:
“Kevin Durant is many things.
“One of the two best basketball players on the planet and the presumptive Most Valuable Player.
“A positive role model for young people.
“A great ambassador for the state of Oklahoma.
“He is not ‘unreliable’ and it was wrong and unfair for us to characterize him as such in a headline in Thursday’s editions of The Oklahoman. The headline, which appeared over a column by Berry Tramel, was not written by Tramel.
“Irrespective of Durant’s play in the Memphis series, to write a headline suggesting that he had become unreliable, and to present it in giant bold type gave the wrong impression about Durant as a player, person and force in our community …We are not proud of that headline.”
So Durant tanked in the playoff series and a headline-writer took a shot? Can you imagine a New York paper apologizing for that?
Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and the host of "MediaBuzz" (Sundays 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET). He is the author of five books and is based in Washington. Follow him at @HowardKurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz.