Deadspin Says ‘War Criminal’ George W. Bush ‘Belongs in a Prison’

Marty Lederhandler/AP
Marty Lederhandler/AP

On the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Deadspin slammed ESPN for posting a mini documentary about the day that George W. Bush raised the nation’s spirits by throwing out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium before game three of the 2001 World Series.

The hate-filled article slams ESPN for “rehabilitating” Bush. Author Tom Ley says the 43rd president “belongs in a prison” and calls him a “war criminal.”

For Deadspin, Ley unleashed a spittle-specked diatribe against both ESPN and’s Louisa Thomas for the posts about Bush. Thomas wrote a companion article about ESPN’s 24-minute-long documentary called First Pitch.

The short film reviews the historic record and recounts the day President Bush ignored the threats of radical Islam and attended the third game of the World Series, played in New York between the Yankees and Diamondbacks just over a month after the terrible events on September 11.

When President Bush threw out the first pitch for game three his actions that day served to raise the spirits of a nation still reeling from the murderous attacks that killed over 3,000 Americans, the biggest act of terror in American history. But this isn’t how Deadspin remembers it. Instead of seeing a president who help America begin to return to “normalcy,” as one of his predecessors might have put it, Deadspin sees lies, hypocrisy, and criminality.

The hate-filled Ley calls ESPN’s documentary “crappy,” and charges that Bush “brought on unaccountable horrors” such as “shapeless, protracted wars and inhumane torture programs.”

The intellectual heft of Ley’s article continues as he decries Bush’s “bullshit about freedom and evil” and then goes on to call Bush an “asshole.” Next Ley complains that the two outlets aid and abet Bush’s “rehabilitation.”

Ley’s majestic rhetoric continues as he insists that Bush “belongs in a prison,” accuses him of “faux-heroic bloviating” and insists that the president is immoral. The Deadspin screed ends slamming ESPN for being as immoral as Bush.

“ESPN had a story to tell,” Ley blurts out, “and it’s not the kind of corporation to let something like the moral issues involved in being deferential to a war criminal get in the way of getting people misty on 9/11.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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