A pampered Bush, used to handling softball questions from the White House press corps, came face to face with a real journalist during a venture off his Texas ranch.

"Bush's minders usually leave him in the gentle care of the White House press corps, which can be counted on to ask him tough questions about when his summer vacation starts," writes Capital Times columnist John Nichols.

Nichols refers to Bush's interview with mainstream Irish journalist Carole Coleman, who pressed him for answers and maintained follow-up pressure. "My job is to do my job," Bush intoned during the RTE interview. He later pleaded, "Please, please, please, for a minute, OK?"

A Bush aide later said Coleman had "overstepped the bounds of politeness," and as payback cancelled RTE's sure-to-be-powerhouse-interview with the first lady.

Gregg Mitchell writes in Editor & Publisher, "[I]f the American reporters don't think they go along to get along, the White House seems to think so. According to Miriam Lord in the Irish Independent, a White House staffer suggested to Coleman as she went into the interview that she ask him a question about the outfit that Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern wore to the recent G8 summit. Ahern, in case you missed it, wore a pair of canary-yellow trousers."

The U.S. media would do well to shake off its complacency, as Matt Taibi of New York Press implores in his rant against the spineless media and Christopher Hitchens's invective against "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Michael Moore may be an ass, and impossible to like as a public figure, and a little loose with the facts, and greedy, and a shameless panderer. But he wouldn't be necessary if even one percent of the rest of us had any balls at all.

If even one reporter had stood up during a pre-Iraq Bush press conference last year and shouted, "Bullshit!" it might have made a difference. ...

Say what you want about Moore, but he picked himself up and did something, something approximating the role journalism is supposed to play. The rest of us—let's face it—are just souped-up shoe salesmen with lit degrees. Who should shut their mouths in the presence of real people.


Blogger Andy said...

Having just come out of Fahrenheit 9/11 moments ago, I can echo Hitchens' sentiments and apply them to the American people. While there was clapping in the audience at various parts of the movie -- the largest clap was at Moore's inviting members of Congress to enlist their children in the military -- I felt like we were asleep at the TV and let Bush get away with it all.

I want to design "Weapons of Mass Destruction" t-shirts featuring pictures of Bush, bottles of beer, TV remotes, other complacency inducing items. But I am no designer. So I get a cut!

June 30, 2004 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger B-Dawg said...

I'd buy a dozen of those t-shirts!

June 30, 2004 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger theoretical author said...

Christopher Hitchens is an ass. A huge, aloholic ass. He "dissects" the film via personal mudslinging and name-calling, thus destroying any of his own credibility. With the following sentence, he betrays his own lazy and arrogant approach to "journalism":

"However, I think we can agree that the film is so flat-out phony that "fact-checking" is beside the point."

Taking lessons from Jayson Blair?

July 2, 2004 at 2:04 PM  

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