New Yorker writer calls out Bush during visit

Going to Iraq will be judged by history as possibly the worst mistake an American president has made, an investigative journalist said Tuesday.

Seymour Hersh, an investigative reporter and author, told students and community members that President Bush is the most radical president the nation has had because of his goal to spread democracy.

Hersh, who now writes for The New Yorker, criticized the war in Iraq, saying after the speech that the U.S. is now the “bad guy” in the war.

“We’ve lost our edge on morality,” Hersh said.

Speaking on the same day of the Texas primaries, Hersh said he wouldn’t mind giving up audience members for those participating in the evening caucuses.

“The bad news first – there are 321 days left in the reign of King George II,” Hersh said. “And the good news is that tomorrow, when we wake up, there will be one less day.”

Hersh said the election of a new president offers hope. But, he said, whoever is elected will be left with a mess to clean up, referencing the emotional crisis he says the country will be left with when bringing soldiers home from the war.

“The next president is going to have a hell of a time,” Hersh said.

Hersh also said the press’ complacent role in the days leading up to the war was disappointing. Rather than reporting the facts, he said, the press parroted what officials were saying without digging deeper into the issues.

“There’s a lack of trust with the press and it’s probably very deserved,” Hersh said.

David Bedford, instructor of Spanish and Latin American studies, said he has read Hersh’s articles in The New Yorker for years, saying his speech was “chucked full of interesting information that we need to know.”

Thomas Pressly, junior communication studies major, said although he has different views than Hersh, the speaker did well in expressing where he thinks the country is headed.

“We will all agree that in 321 days our country needs to unite around whoever is elected president and deal with the difficult policies that the world is continuing to experience,” said Pressly, Student Government Association president.

The speech was a part of the Center of Civic Literacy Series and was co-sponsored by the AddRan College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Schieffer School of Journalism and Leadership Fort Worth.