Ellen be friends with Bush?

Degeneres spotted at football game with former GOP president

www.fastcompany.com

It's not about 'beliefs,' Ellen: Why DeGeneres's weak defense of George W. Bush is a denial of reality

The unspoken rule that allowed me and my friend Brandon to continue being friends well into George W. Bush's second term was that we never talked about politics.

We lived in separate states and hung out maybe once a year, and we had enough shared history and bad movies to debate when we did see each other that we were able to keep current events at bay. As the administration entered its twilight, our arrangement became fairly easy. The worm had turned for Bush as the Iraq War became an indefensible quagmire and the financial crisis hit hard.

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Can Ellen Degeneres be friends with George W. Bush?

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

Ellen Degeneres' friendship with George W. Bush has been put in the spotlight, with some criticising her for befriending the former US president.

The TV chat show host was spotted at an American football game with the Republican.

They were seen laughing together during Green Bay Packers' victory against Dallas Cowboys in Dallas on Sunday.

Degeneres has defended her friendship with Bush, saying she is friends with "a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs I have".

However, critics have accused the comedian of a "weak defence" and "a denial of reality".

The Claim

Degeneres addressed her friendship with Bush during the taping of her television show on Monday.

In a four-minute monologue posted on her Twitter, she said: "I'm friends with George Bush. I'm friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs I have."

Degeneres explained that she and her wife Portia had been invited to watch the American football game by Charlotte Jones, the daughter of Jerry Jones who owns the Dallas Cowboys.

The TV host quipped: "And we went because we wanted to keep up with the Joneses."

She continued: "During the game they showed a shot of George and me laughing together and so, people were upset.

"They thought why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?

"But a lot of people were mad and they did what a lot of people do when they're mad - they tweet."

Degeneres added: "But just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I'm not going to be friends with them.

"When I say, 'be kind to one another,' I don't only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone."

The Counterclaim

However, the Fast Company's Joe Berkowitz attacks Degeneres for her "weak defence" of her friendship with Bush.

He tells the comedian that this isn't Sesame Street, and her lesson in kindness was "trite" and "inappropriate".

Berkowitz calls Bush a "collection of dishonourable misdeeds", arguing that the 43rd president has "measurably made the world a worse place".

He argues: "George W. Bush is not just someone with different beliefs, like the belief that oil and a paternal rivalry are worth starting wars over. He's someone who acted on those beliefs and destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives in the process.

"Being friends with someone who voted for George W. Bush isn't the same as being friends with George W. Bush himself.

"The latter isn't reaching across the aisle to bridge the political divide; that's reaching down into hell to pull up the devil."

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