King George

| July 8, 2007 | 0 Comments

In a blast from the past, the post below brought to mind an amazing article I read a long while ago about an interview conducted by an Irish journalist named Carole Coleman on the occasion of a visit to Ireland by George Bush. It got a lot of attention at the time because she challenged Bush pretty aggressively. She then wrote the article for the London Sunday Times describing the process dealing with the White House staff surrounding the interview. Her experience illustrated the belief within the Bush White House that the president was some kind of diety to whom everyone should pay obeisance. It describes the ritual she was to go through when the president entered the room. And the guidance she was given, like the following:

“’We don’t address the president unless he speaks first,’ a member of the film crew had told me earlier. “

Being a good journalist and a better Irishman, she ignored the protocols and pinned Bush’s ears back. The White House flack, in what she thought was chastisement but was actually a great compliment, said after the interview:

“You were more vicious than any of the White House press corps or even some of them up on Capitol Hill . . .The president leads the interview,” she said.

Imagine. “The President leads the interview.” The arrogance. It was enlightening to read this piece again. In fact, the White House lodged a complaint with the Irish Embassy about the interview. Imagine the temerity of a journalist asking the president tough questions. I’m sure the Irish diplomats were quaking.

In fact, Ms. Coleman turned the experience into a book length rumination on Bush’s America, entitled, Alleluia America.

It’s on my Summer reading list.

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