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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to the book's author, Matthew Latimer, J.K. Rowling's name was once in consideration for a presidential medal but was rescinded because the books "encouraged witchcraft."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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186 Comments

Dscn0194_thumb
1921 Points

I really don’t believe this is true (and that’s coming from someone who was definitely anti-Bush). If both Bushes liked HP, why would they allow someone to block Jo’s award?

Posted by izziewitch on September 24, 2009, 06:19 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
125 Points

Oh whatever! How rude, she has put some hard effort into these books. Obviously the US is maybe.. jealous?

Posted by Rodinius Black on September 24, 2009, 06:19 PM report to moderator
Pluto_thumb
36743 Points

This is just a rumor people!

Posted by simos girl {WBM} ~Lemon~ on September 24, 2009, 06:23 PM report to moderator
Harry_potter_70_thumb
4881 Points

Oh for crying out loud, please let this be just a silly rumour!! Can’t bear reading such ridiculous things like this!

Posted by HBPFan [ITC!] - CatPhoenix14 on September 24, 2009, 06:33 PM report to moderator
Harry_potter_70_thumb
4881 Points

Sorry, meant “rumor”..got carried away!

Posted by HBPFan [ITC!] - CatPhoenix14 on September 24, 2009, 06:36 PM report to moderator
George_ron_thumb
153 Points

Boooooooooo

Posted by blue_rogue on September 24, 2009, 06:37 PM report to moderator
Eeyorescrollsparky_thumb
444 Points

Well, honestly, is anyone surprised that the Bush administration would stoop so low? Considering some of the blatanly Christian messages that were sent to the troops. . .

And yes, it would be nice if we could move on. However, I think it’s important for people to know just how insidious Bush and those who surrounded him were for the eight years they ran amok.

Posted by Eeyore on September 24, 2009, 06:50 PM report to moderator
Picture_1_thumb
2333 Points

GOD!!! Oh well we don’t need your dumb metal. We have all the fans to know that HP is amazing.

Posted by theREALGinnyWeasley on September 24, 2009, 07:04 PM report to moderator
Momsgoodby_thumb
32 Points

It is hard to find this credible. What “people in the White House”? My BS flag is waving…

Posted by kikib on September 24, 2009, 07:06 PM report to moderator
27577_1__thumb
309 Points

i dislike president bush but i do think its just a rumor

Posted by Rowling Stones on September 24, 2009, 07:10 PM report to moderator
Dscn0187_thumb
2890 Points

I see a great way for President Obama to get his approval ratings up…at least among Harry Potter fans. And I’m sure his daughters would love to meet Jo (I’m assuming their fans, does anyone actually know?)

Posted by Laura Keaton [WBM!] on September 24, 2009, 07:21 PM report to moderator
Me_and_james_going_to_school_thumb
2963 Points

let him say it to us with his own mouth first.

Posted by prof mewthree "squee" on September 24, 2009, 07:21 PM report to moderator
Mv5bmje0njy5mte2nv5bml5banbnxkftztywnzu4mtk1
1579 Points

gotta love our picks for presidents in the usa right guys? …but like rowling stones i think this is just another rumor bush got stuck with

Posted by Beckster235 on September 24, 2009, 07:31 PM report to moderator
Mv5bmje0njy5mte2nv5bml5banbnxkftztywnzu4mtk1
1579 Points

gotta love our picks for presidents in the usa right guys? …but like rowling stones i think this is just another rumor bush got stuck with

Posted by Beckster235 on September 24, 2009, 07:31 PM report to moderator
Orderphoenix_thumb
123 Points

That would be our ex president for you. You’d think it was Death Eaters & not pretzels that attacked him.

Posted by superman82 on September 24, 2009, 07:33 PM report to moderator
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