Sorry, no ghosts in Newsweek’s scoop

060731 COVER standardAlas, I am sad to report that there are no ghosts at all in Newsweek‘s much ballyhooed front-page exclusive look behind the secret curtain that hid the real President George W. Bush from the eyes of the secular world during his lengthy trip to Russia for the G8 summit. This is the feature story with the heavy subheadline “Behind the Scenes With President Bush As the Middle East Explodes.”

There were no prayer meetings on Air Force One and, apparently, the reporters and photographers had total access. There is no religion in this story at all, which feels rather strange, with the Bush image and all of that.

Did the Bible-thumping, power-praying president manage to go God-free for four days? Perhaps the Newsweek team was not familiar with the meaning of the words “Gog” and “Magog”? Also, I could find no evidence that Tim “Left Behind” LaHaye had a secret bedroom hidden just off the command center. How did Bush manage to hide him?

Let’s see, what else? There are no thinly veiled discussions between Bush and his disciples on the crucial question (thank you, CNN) of whether events on the Israel-Lebanon border will hasten the end of the world. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is not shown speaking in tongues (not even Russian, while in Russia), in front of the Newsweek team or playing praise choruses on the piano (not even Rachmaninoff).

Maybe I need to read this piece again. That premillennial ghost has to be in there somewhere.

Stay tuned. Oh, and it does appear that Bush knows how to pronounce Shiite.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • Stephen A.

    Maybe, in addition to being a rather poor fiscal conservative, the “Decider” is not much of a social/religious conservative, either.

    There are many who have had their doubts about this all along.

    Maybe the lack of a religious “ghost” in the story IS the story.

    Then again, if he’d prayed on Air Force One, the ravenous media would be spewing garbage about him “imposing” a theocracy on Americans, so maybe he’s learned to hide his religion well, just as the secularists are demanding

  • YetAnotherRick

    Shhhhh…the absense of ghosts is due to the conspiracy involving media cooperation with the Left Behind Armageddon Rapturist Talibaptist Cult.

    For a more level-headed commentary on the Bush Administration and Eschatology, read Alan Jacobs:
    also at:

  • Stolzi

    Well, you know, a certain famous person (Bush’s favorite philosopher) DID enjoin his followers to pray in private…