MyLeaky Login

Join the largest Harry Potter Social Network on the Web! | FAQ

In the News

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to the book's author, Matthew Latimer, J.K. Rowling's name was once in consideration for a presidential medal but was rescinded because the books "encouraged witchcraft."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.


Previous Article | Next Article Browse all Recent J.K. Rowling News

186 Comments

74123_141617022553882_107847329264185_201379_264575_n_thumb
330 Points

thats mental

Posted by Ballycastle Bats fan on September 24, 2009, 04:11 PM report to moderator
Raven_avatar_thumb
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
282600_233804939987291_100000733600249_807455_78180_n_thumb
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
Rainingmen_thumb
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
Puppet_pals_yes_thumb
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
Hpphotoshop_thumb
4138 Points

Talk about being confunded!

Posted by Calum Wilson (RuneDream54) on September 24, 2009, 04:30 PM report to moderator
Av_harrylovesferret_thumb
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
User170224_pic7538_1238947280_thumb
5610 Points

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

Posted by Peace.Love.Potter ♥ on September 24, 2009, 04:40 PM report to moderator
Img_2315_face0_thumb
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
Luna_lovegood_thumb
115 Points

what O.o!? that’s crazy!

Posted by vintervarg on September 24, 2009, 04:41 PM report to moderator
Pb116179_thumb
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
Noavatar-thumb

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.

Thi

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

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
Pb116179_thumb
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
Baron_haru___shall_we_dance____by_jasminealexandra_thumb
180 Points

yea i agree that was stupid

Posted by Ganduean-Vampiress on September 24, 2009, 04:50 PM report to moderator
You must be logged in to MyLeaky to comment. Please click here to log in.

Finding Hogwarts
PotterCast Interviews Jo Rowling! Click here to Listen! The Books Everything...Half-Blood Prince...and the rest of the HP Films Leaky Apps

Guess That Book

"It's a simple matter if you know what you're doing!" Lockhart was saying loudly to Hagrid. "If you need help, you know where I am! I'll let you have a copy of my book. I'm surprised you haven't already got one -- I'll sign one tonight and send it over. W

Learn to knit your own 'Weasley Sweater'. Learn to brew your own 'Butterbeer'. Find out how at Leaky Crafts!

Scribbulus Essay Project

Issue 28 - Aug. 2014

Scribbulus is THE place for Leaky Cauldron readers to submit their essays and opinion pieces!
See more over at Scribbulus!