‘One last time, for the record’: AP debunks the myth of President Bush and that supermarket scanner

As Twitchy reported, the New York Times thought former President George H.W. Bush’s obituary would be a good place to revive the myth that the out-of-touch candidate had never seen a supermarket scanner before and was amazed by it.

The Associated Press declared Tuesday that Bush received a “bum rap” from the media:

The AP reports:

One last time, for the record: It was not an ordinary supermarket scanner.

A February 1992 newspaper story reporting that President George H.W. Bush was baffled by a supermarket barcode scanner when he visited a grocers’ convention in Florida fed into impressions that the president was out of touch, just as he was dealing with a reeling economy and fending off a primary election challenge at the outset of his re-election campaign.

The New York Times’ front-page account carried the headline: “Bush Encounters the Supermarket, Amazed.”

Reporters later learned that it was a special scanner with advanced features, including a scale to weigh produce — uncommon then — and the ability to read barcodes even if they were torn up and jumbled.

The AP also maintained its innocence, reprinting a February 1992 story that called out the New York Times for its headline and noting that “cartoonists, broadcasters and columnists lampooned the president as a political Rip Van Winkle.”

But Julie Pace is correct: It’s amazing how a story can get twisted and stick with a person for years.

Here’s a thought:


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