In a 12.2 posting titled “Chris Wallace Defends Nixon Against Mean Ron Howard,” Gawker quotes the Fox News anchor as refuting analogies between Richard Nixon and George W. Bush during a recent Frost-Nixon screening q & a in Washington, D.C.

During the post-screening discussion, Howard said “he was sad that America was all ‘never again’ about Nixon and then Bush happened,” the story says. The other two panelists — Frost/Nixon screenwriter Peter Morgan and journalist James Reston, Jr. — also compared Bush to Nixon, at which point Wallace “stood up and, as James Pinketon puts it, ‘threw a fair-and-balanced apple of discord into the middle of the festivities’),” reports Gawker.

“Richard Nixon’s crimes were committed purely in the interest of his own political gain,” Wallace told Howard. “I think to compare what Nixon did, and the abuses of power for pure political self preservation, to George W. Bush trying to protect this country — even if you disagree with rendition or waterboarding — it seems to me is both a gross misreading of history both then and now.”

But of course, Bush didn’t invade Iraq to protect his country. He did it, I believe, partly to give the country an emotional revenge outlet over 9/11, partly to rectify (in ’43’s mind) his father’s mistake in deciding against invading Baghdad during the ’91 Gulf War, and partly to nail Saddam Hussein, in part because he’d threatened Bush ’41’s life.

I’m also scratching my head over Howard having admitted during the discussion that he voted for Nixon. Howard voted against George McGovern? Good God. Maybe he was referring to the ’68 election.