By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
According to the memoir of a speechwriter for former President George W. Bush, the administration refused to grant Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling a presidential medal of freedom because her books “encouraged witchcraft.”
According to a report in the Guardian, Matt Latimer’s new book, Speech-Less: Tales of a White House, reveals how political the award became during the Bush Administration.
In his book, Latimer, criticized how the “narrow thinking” of “people in the White House” led them to “actually object to giving the author J.K. Rowling a presidential medal because the Harry Potter books encouraged witchcraft.”
Latimer also claims that Sen. Edward Kennedy was denied the award because was “a liberal.”
The medal of freedom is America’s highest civilian award and is given to “individuals who make an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavours.”
Pres. Bush awarded the medal to individuals such as Tony Blair, Muhammad Ali, Alan Greenspan, Nelson Mandela, Doris Day and Charlton Heston.
The first 16 recipients of Barack Obama’s presidential medal, handed out in August, included Stephen Hawking, Senator Ted Kennedy and the controversial gay activist, Harry Milk.
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