I was surprised to see Fitness Business Pro not only take a blatant political turn in its December 2004 issue (“Second Wind”), but to repeat a fallacy about the differences between President Bush and his unsuccessful challenger, Sen. John Kerry.
Bush has been portrayed as the more athletic of the two when nothing could be farther from the truth. Bush was a prep school cheerleader; Kerry played ice hockey and soccer at the NCAA Division I level. Both have shown themselves to currently be good examples of weekend, stay-in-shape-type athletes.
To portray Bush — who grew up in Midland/Odessa, TX and didn't play football!? — as a paragon of athleticism simply adds another bit of ex-post-factor unfairness to the wacky political process of 2004. The misinformation that flowed from the political parties during the campaign was distasteful. To have a professional publication gratuitously continue the game after the votes have been counted was offensive.
Dear Mr. Weber,
Thank you for your comments about our story. While a person's physical fitness in high school can sometimes determine his or her fitness later in life, the purpose of this article was not to compare the fitness levels of the two candidates — either during their high school years or now. In fact, nowhere in the article do we compare President Bush's physical fitness to Sen. Kerry's — nor do we ever imply that President Bush is a “paragon of athleticism.”
This article simply looked at what President Bush's continued presidency could mean to the fitness industry. It is well known that President Bush runs for exercise on a regular basis and encourages his staff to exercise. He has stated several times the importance of physical fitness for him — hence, our reason for calling him a “fitness-conscious president.” Had Sen. Kerry (who I agree is also fit) been declared the winner, I'm sure we would have referred to him likewise as we looked at what his presidency could have meant for the fitness industry.