I know as a Christian that cynicism is poisonous. Trouble is, cynics are right about 98% of the time. Regarding those tapes of conservative writer Doug Wead that were recently "forced" into the public's hands by Wead's publisher, my cynicism registers far into the red.... er, blue.
First, let's look at results. The tapes were reported by news sources as if they were an expose that was damaging to the President. But in reality they didn't hurt Bush in the slightest, and in fact drew a picture of Bush in private that makes him (in the words of one TV newscaster) "seem pretty much the same guy in private as he is in public." He on the tapes bemoans the idea that publicizing his former drug use, some kid will use drugs because the president used them. And that was the big story?
Second, let's look at image-crafting. Bush's people are geniuses in this regard, all moral quibbles aside. And I am just a bit too skeptical to believe Wead just happened to (a) make these tapes, or (b) release them. It is basically a publicity bonanza for Bush; he looks more upstanding to his supporters than ever, and even gets a few cautious notes in on how to handle gays, thus maybe getting a faint clap or two from those left of the political center.
I know. I'm too cynical. George Bush and his friends such as Carl Rove have never done anything remotely as ingenius as releasing supposed "unauthorized secret tapes" which end up as puff-pieces. My response?