The following media outlets have inaccurately reported a comment made by Jeb Bush in his 1995 book, Profiles in Character: Huffington Post; Gawker; USA Today; Buzzfeed; Black Business Now; U.S. News and World Report; Opposing Views; Ring of Fire; Perez Hilton; Addicting Info; Wonkette; Daily Kos; Occupy Democrats; Daily Beast; Salon; CNN News. The meme was broached by Huffington Post in its headline yesterday, “Jeb Bush: Unwed Mothers Should Be Publicly Shamed.” All of these media outlets mindlessly distorted what Bush said.
Here is what Bush actually said in his book: “One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct.” (Italics added.)
Ironically, this quote appears in the Huffington Post article by Laura Bassett. That it undermines the title of her article is obvious—at least it is obvious to those who do not share her ideological bias. The other media sources either had similar headlines or made it appear that dads were never mentioned by Bush.
I added the italics to demonstrate how utterly inaccurate it is to say that Bush only addressed moms. Why is this important? Because of the faux “War on Women” campaign that is being waged, oftentimes by those who attack the Catholic Church.
By the way, Bush’s sociological insight is accurate: the loss of stigma attached to unwed mothers and fathers has indeed contributed to a spike in children born out of wedlock.