So far the debate over The Family has centered on a few sensational factoids, including the charge that George W. Bush snorted cocaine at Camp David when his father was president. Once again it's likely that some of Kelley's headline-making facts won't withstand intense scrutiny all that well. (Sharon Bush, the only named source for the Camp David coke story, has already recanted and accused Kelley of duping her.) But again it may be that Kelley has something valuable to offer, despite her unsavory means. The news media have largely given George W. Bush a pass on "character" issues and allowed him to rope off his first four decades as "young and irresponsible years." Particularly now that Bush's allies are savaging the young John Kerry's character, it seems only fair that Bush's should be subjected to a painful colonoscopy. The view might show Bush's integrity as not quite what the White House makes it out to be, and the public will be able to look it over with due skepticism. The real shame here isn't that Kitty Kelley resorts to shoddy journalistic methods to uncover some basic truths. It's that so few others have used scrupulous journalistic methods to find them.
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