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Book Rumor: Bush administration denied J.K. Rowling medal because Harry Potter books "encouraged witchcraft"

J.K. Rowling
Posted by: Melissa
September 24, 2009, 02:25 PM

The new book SPEECH-LESS: Tales of a White House Survivor, a behind-the-scenes account of life in the George W. Bush presidential administration (published by Crown Books), has an interesting nugget for Harry Potter fans, as a reader has pointed out: according to the book's author, Matthew Latimer, J.K. Rowling's name was once in consideration for a presidential medal but was rescinded because the books "encouraged witchcraft." The relevant text is on page 201 of the book and reads:

[President Bush's chief speechwriter] Marc [Thiessen] liked to encourage a broad range of opinions from others, so long as theirs agreed with his. When Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with a brain tumor, I suggested that the president might at least consider awarding Kennedy the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Marc objected with the genteel diplomacy he was known for. 'That's crazy!' he thundered. ...This was the same sort of narrow thinking that led people in the White House to actually object to giving the author J.K. Rowling a presidential medal because the Harry Potter books encouraged witchcraft.

George W. Bush served as president of the United States from January 2001 to January 2009. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." It is not always given to an American: during the Bush administration, presidential medal recipients included former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

During the Bush administration, the president and his wife, First Lady Laura Bush, were very vocal about their like for the Harry Potter books; Laura Bush called them her "favorite": "It was like finding a great mystery writer and having that whole body of work to read at once. I really loved them," she said.

You can purchase the book here.

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330 Points

thats mental

Posted by Ballycastle Bats fan on September 24, 2009, 04:11 PM report to moderator
80450 Points

Certain adherents to a certain philosophy and political party in the US, have always found it useful and expedient to avoid letting things like facts get in the way of their phobias, beliefs, and agendas.

Posted by Won_Two on September 24, 2009, 04:16 PM report to moderator
3031 Points

So glad he is out of the white house and real potter fans in ha…

Posted by Horcruxalej on September 24, 2009, 04:19 PM report to moderator
141 Points

Oh come on now, where’s the proof? So they wait until he’s out of office and pull something like this? I highly doubt it and I’m quite disappointed in Leaky in adding to the “Bush-Bashing” … Let’s move on, shall we??

Posted by BwaySaint on September 24, 2009, 04:20 PM report to moderator
3238 Points

That’s crazy, but then again, nothing suprizes me about politics anymore. Yes they are only looking at the witchcraft, but what about the actual morals of the story such as friendship and being ubeatable when you have love. Whatever….

Posted by phoenixes are in ravenclaw on September 24, 2009, 04:23 PM report to moderator
4138 Points

Talk about being confunded!

Posted by Calum Wilson (RuneDream54) on September 24, 2009, 04:30 PM report to moderator
88 Points

I’m amused but… will she still get the award?

Posted by lowlizah on September 24, 2009, 04:39 PM report to moderator
5610 Points

talk about STUPID!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Peace.Love.Potter ♥ on September 24, 2009, 04:40 PM report to moderator
545 Points

Read the books!! There is nothing in them to encourage anything dark or evil!

Posted by Nicci Weasley on September 24, 2009, 04:40 PM report to moderator
115 Points

what O.o!? that’s crazy!

Posted by vintervarg on September 24, 2009, 04:41 PM report to moderator
762 Points

how would it encourage witchcraft?? the books very clearly differentiate between muggles and witches/wizards. the important thing about the HP books is that they have gotten a lot of kids to love reading, even those who would never read without an assignment. they also help kids and adults alike to accept death during the course of a highly entertaining adventure.

Posted by DoVe_PaTrOnUs *-GFTC-* on September 24, 2009, 04:42 PM report to moderator

This is a lie. President Bush and the first lady were FANS of Harry Potter. I remember that during one of the White House Christmas parties the President and First Lady had cakes made of Famous scenes from Books and one of the cakes were of Harry Potter and Hedwig.


Posted by faubert on September 24, 2009, 04:43 PM report to moderator

The biggest shock here is the suggestion that George Bush can read …

Posted by JackHarkness on September 24, 2009, 04:48 PM report to moderator
762 Points

oh yeah guys, and did you hear? uncle tom’s cabin encourages us to be racist, lord of the flies encourages us to act like lunatics, the transformation encourages us to turn into giant cockroaches, and romeo and juliet encourage us to kill ourselves. lol! i hope mrs. rowling doesn’t mind them, she does have more support than criticism. she’s got my vote any day!

Posted by DoVe_PaTrOnUs *-GFTC-* on September 24, 2009, 04:48 PM report to moderator
180 Points

yea i agree that was stupid

Posted by Ganduean-Vampiress on September 24, 2009, 04:50 PM report to moderator
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