Kitty Kelly Answers the Critics

Michiko Kakutani, New York Times, writes: “The author’s undisguised contempt for many of the Bushes, combined with her failure to come to terms with politics and policy, and her tireless focus on sex, drugs and alcohol, will likely play into family members’ penchant for assailing the media.”Kitty Kelley responds: “In fretting over policy, Kakutani ignores the historical scope of The Family. Unfortunately, she is the one who seems to care too much about ‘playing into’ the Bushes’ hostility toward the media.”

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay says: “Ms. Kelley is neither journalist nor scholar. She is a junior-high gossipmonger.”K.K.: “DeLay is merely parroting the language from a White House talking-points memo attacking The Family. As part of the same smear campaign, a representative of President Bush called the president of NBC News in an attempt to keep me off the air. (To its credit, the network did not cave.)”

Sally Bedell Smith, L.A. Times, writes: “At times it seems as if Kelley … asked random people what they thought of the Bushes [using] a vast tomb of unknown sources, who supply wisps of rumor, innuendo and assertions masked as proof.”K.K.: “ ‘Random people’? I conducted nearly 1,000 interviews with people who have had intimate dealings with the Bushes—even a few family members. Much as I dislike using unnamed sources, in many instances here I had no choice. The amount of trepidation I encountered from my sources for this book was unprecedented.”

Robert McCrum, London Observer, writes: “Kitty Kelley is the supreme bottom-feeder of American biographers … But she finds genuine nourishment where others might turn away, revolted.”K.K.: “As Abraham Lincoln said, ‘To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.’ ”

The Family: The Real Story Of The Bush Dynasty

Kitty Kelly Answers the Critics