Thursday, October 1, 2009

JK Rowling and the Bush administration

According to the Guardian, a new memoir by George W Bush's former speechwriter claims that Bush administration officials objected to giving JK Rowling a presidential medal of freedom on the grounds that her Harry Potter books 'encouraged witchcraft.' Really.

Speech-Less: Tales of a White House Survivor by Matt Latimer reveals how politicized the medal became during the Bush administration according to the Think Progress blog.

The medal is given to "individuals who make an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors". Tony Blair, Harper Lee, Muhammad Ali, Alan Greenspan, Nelson Mandela, Doris Day and Charlton Heston all received this medal under the Bush administration..

The first 16 recipients of Barack Obama's presidential medal included Stephen Hawking and Senator Ted Kennedy – who, according to Latimer's book, failed to receive the medal during the Bush administration because he was "a liberal."

Witchcraft? Really? Sigh. Although I'm sure I've read that Laura Bush, a former librarian loved the Potter books.


Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Ummm wow! I was so not expecting that...I thought there might have been an objection to her treatment of government in the stories but witchcraft? Really?

Bookgeek said...

I know. With a gay wizard, a revolutionary group that wants to overthrow the wizard government, and a campaign to treat everyone as equals, they worry about encouraging witchcraft! You wonder if they actually read any of them rather than read about them...