Monday, June 28

White House angered by questions

Is anyone not yet convinced that President Bush is losing touch? Do you not yet sense that he is a danger not only to the world, but to civility itself? If so, I encourage you to visit, which has an excellent write-up on the Bush interview with the Irish reporter that took place a few days ago, including a video link to the complete interview and links to some sharp blogger commentary.
It turns out the White House responded angrily to being asked questions. has reported that the White House has filed a complaint with the Irish Embassy. Curiously, the questions Bush were asked were scripted; the journalist, Carole Coleman, submitted them to the White House three days in advance. Moreover, they are, I think, the sort of questions that not only the Irish people, but citizens the world over, would wish to ask the President. To measure just how out-of-touch the White House has become, consider that, in addition to lodging a formal complaint, the White House has "retaliated" by canceling a schedule interview with Laura Bush that Coleman had been given permission to conduct. (Apparently, this cancellation order fits in with the "preemptive" strategy of the Bush Administration.)

Intimidating journalists in this manner is, as I illustrated in a recent post ("Clinton's revealing interview"), something for which the Bush Administration can cite the Clinton Administration as a precedent. Bush takes the tendency to new depths of incivility, as he stubbornly pounds out abstract, delusional talking points that bear no substantive information of any kind.

Note, too, how Bush tries to muster presidential fortitude by lavishing questionable adverbs on himself. For example: "I STRONGLY argue that..." You strongly argue? Excuse me? Moreover, the forward-thrusting body movement he makes as he lets this adverbial bomb fly does little to strengthen the STRONGLY argued opinion he refers to.

Here is how I recalled the interview between Ms. Coleman and Bush (in a post written a few days ago).

An Irish reporter asked Bush if he didn't find significance in the fact that so many Irish (15,000 of whom demonstrated on his visit to Ireland) are angry about the torture scandal and about his diverting the war on terror away from Al-Qaeda to Iraq. His response, which I paraphrase here, seemed to confirm the premises of Moore's film. Bush responded by ignoring the comment about Al-Qaeda, as if the diversion of the war away from the actual terrorists responsible for 9/11 were a given and not worth discussing, speaking some platitudes about good Irish-American relations, as if the threat to such relations were not exactly the point of the interviewer's question, and putting all the blame for the torture scandal on the backs of a few soldiers, which tactic only confirms Moore's (and many others') view that the Administration doesn't give a damn about those whom it enlists to do its dirty work (and whose sacrifices it and its supporters use cynically as a shield against criticism of Bush Administration policies).