Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GU Bookstore Sells Out

Tuesday, September 21, 2004 GU Bookstore Sells Out By Tom Armstrong and Erin O’Connor

It has recently come to our attention that the Georgetown University Bookstore has decided to invite author Kitty Kelley to campus. We view this as an egregious mistake that a university such as Georgetown, with a strong and proud tradition of top-level academics and a commitment to integrity, would invite an author who has never demonstrated either.

Kelley’s new book The Family: The Real Story of The Bush Dynasty is full of uncorroborated accusations that rely on testimony from “unnamed sources.” The author claims to have conducted more than 1,000 interviews and yet surprisingly enough not a single source would go on the record.

The publisher, Doubleday, is so worried about the book that media outlets seeking press access had to sign a confidentiality agreement whereby they were prohibited for taking steps to verify any of Kelley’s slanderous accusations.

When Newsweek wished to run a story about the book, the publisher said, “The magazine would [have to] agree not to contact any third party to verify information contained in the book without our prior agreement.”

In other words, the author and publisher are so concerned about their own book that they are actively trying to prevent verification of what they call “facts.”

One of Kelley’s main points of attack is that President Bush used cocaine while serving in the National Guard. It is interesting that the person she cites as telling her this has may have never met George W. Bush.

In an interview with Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, Kelley admitted as much. When asked what the relationship was between First Lieutenant Robert Rogers and President Bush, she replied, “I don’t think there’s any relationship.”

Matthews follows up, “Did [Rogers] ever meet President Bush?”

Kelley replies, “I didn’t ask him.”

This is classic Kitty Kelley. She interviews people, some with very impressive titles and credentials, but none of them are connected with or have any knowledge of what she is writing about. Kelley bases her claim about cocaine use on a man that she does not even know if he had even met the president, let alone had any kind of lasting relationship with him.

In that same interview with Chris Matthews, Kelley was asked about a source from Austin. Matthews says, “And what does he bring to the table here exactly in terms of truth?” To which Kelley responds, “It isn’t so much about in terms of truth.”

It is shocking to us that in a book of over 700 pages, not a single first-hand source will go on the record. All we have to fall back on are “unnamed sources” and named sources so far removed from the topic as to be irrelevant.

What we are left with is the words of the author slinging accusations that she promises are true. There are plenty of people who promise that Elvis is still alive, and many of them have more credibility than Kitty Kelley.

Can we imagine for a moment what would happen if any student at Georgetown ever used Kitty Kelley’s method to write a thesis or a term paper? No relevant cited sources, just a note to the professor promising that everything was true.

Students would never be allowed to write with the lack of ethical, journalistic and academic standards with which Kelley writes. And yet the university bookstore has decided to feature this author as a role model to students. As an institution committed to academic integrity, we cannot understand why Georgetown would welcome such a figure to campus.

Kitty Kelley is nothing more than a gossip monger who is now leveling false accusations against a sitting president. The politically motivated timing along with the lack of any credible sources should be enough relegate this book to the trash heap, not the spotlight at Georgetown.

Add to that Kelley’s long history of slandering great Americans and this should cause all readers to put this collection of lies, attacks and unsubstantiated slander where it belongs – in the garbage.

Tom Armstrong and Erin O’Connor are sophomores in the College and co-chairs of Georgetown Students for Bush.

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