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It’s witchcraft! Bush White House said no to J.K. Rowling

ThinkProgress has been excerpting juicy bits from Speechless: Tales of a White House Survivor, a memoir by former Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer. The most recent concerns the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which, though always political to some degree, was made nakedly so during the Bush years. (Another Bush speechwriter apparently objected to the idea of awarding the medal to the cancer-stricken Ted Kennedy on the grounds that the longtime senator was “a liberal.”)

But it wasn’t always politics that animated medal discussions: sometimes, the objections to potential candidates were a little more… medieval.  According to Latimer’s book, some people in the White House did not like the idea of giving one to J.K. Rowling “because the Harry Potter books encouraged witchcraft.”

There’s a lot that could be said about this, but perhaps we should give the last word to a man who was awarded the medal in 1985: