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Well, well, a member of the press finally stood up and asked W and actual hard, informed and relevant question:


"Q Mr. President, I can't let you go from here without a question of terrorism.

THE PRESIDENT: Sure.

Q Latest surveys show that the numbers of terrorism are increasing, not decreasing.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q Why is that?

THE PRESIDENT: Well --

Q You have made a lot of efforts.

Well check that out. A question that put the president on the spot by forcing him to explain a failing policy!

So which media outlet just got back from OZ with some new-found courage? ABC, NBC? CBS? CNN? MSNBC? FOX (Puh-leez)?

Nope.  This exercise in actual journalism was brought to you by Estonian national TV

They've only  had a free press for barely more than a decade now, and already they are doing a better job speaking truth to power, than all the American coporate media outlets combined.

And it isn't just the Estonians showing up the American press corps either, here's a question from Latvian TV :


Q The sentiment of anti-Americanism, as I'm sure you know, is quite widespread in Europe, and in my country, as well. Do you think there is any degree of your own fault in the fact that this sentiment is on the rise or --

In other Words "Mr. President are you a big part of the reason so many of your former allies now hate America?"

Its not a question you'll hear dear Wolf Blitzer ask anytime soon.  In fact, its not a question any American reporter  has had the testicles/ovaries to ask to date.

W's answers in both cases were worthless as far as actually providing thoughful insight. They sounded like they were  derived by playing mix and match with random lines from his stump speeches.  But that's not the point.

Yes, Bush may have dodged the answers, but at least the questions got asked, and the world could see W's slimy wriggling in real-time.  The answer to the terrorism question, though,  was notable because it was  laugh-out-loud stupid: There are more terrorist attacks because we've been so successful in attacking terrorism.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, that's why. If we weren't trying to find the enemy and bring him to justice, the world would look relatively peaceful.
...And so when you engage the enemy, when you try to bring them to justice, they don't like to be brought to justice. .. so part of the reasons why activity is up is because we're chasing them down...

Q How long it takes to curb, finally?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, that's a good question. However long -- it takes as long as necessary. I just don't know. I don't have a -- I can't give you a timetable...

See that thing at the end ? The Reporter even asked a question, known in the biz as a follow-up question designed to elicit more information when an answer is incomplete or unclear.   We should try that once in a while

And apparently it ain't just the Baltic TV boys who actually practice something resembling the journalistic craft.  

This question comes from   Roundtable with Foreign Print Journalists


Q: Mr. President, a few months ago you mentioned in Brussels the violence in The Netherlands. I presume you referred then to the murder of moviemaker [Theo] van Gogh.

THE PRESIDENT: I did.

Q: And that murder reminded the Dutch that they have a common interest with you -- with the U.S. in combating terrorism.  But some critics argue that tensions in Dutch society and in the world -- between Muslims and non-Muslims -- were not only a result of 9/11, but also a result of the way you responded to 9/11, especially with the Iraq war. What is your answer to those critics?

THAT  Virginia, is what a REAL reporter is supposed to sound like.  Again, the answer was nothing special; a duck of the essential question and rant about evil-doers and extremists.  But the wonder of the thing is that the question was asked at all.  

And then there's this incredible moment.  A reporter asks the $64,000 question that is at the heart of Bush's foreign policy:


Q: Mr. President, you're often speaking about freedom, and about the march to freedom, and about -- freedom. How do you define freedom?

Inasmuch as George has only used that word approximately 4,968,758  times, in this term alone, as a justification for everything from the War and Taxes to Social Security;  you'd think somebody would have asked this one by now.  

And you know what? This time  the answer was actually informative.  Though, it made me wonder if W realizes that by his definition,  Freedom has yet to march into America:


THE PRESIDENT: Well, I view freedom as where government doesn't dictate. { like, oh say, a private end of life decision for a brain dead woman? }

Government is responsive to the needs of people. { and the People needed the Bankruptcy bill and the Patriot act how exactly?}

We say "of the people, by the people, and for the people." And a free society is one if the people don't like what is going on, they can get new leaders. { Cough, Florida, Cough, Diebold Cough Cough }

and then there was an absolute showstopper of a question, the one that SHOULD have been the first one asked at every presidential press availability:


Q: Mr. President, ..promoting democracy in the world is a very ambitious goal; and achieve peace, changing the ...  But such a far-reaching idealism can also easily lead to moral inconsistencies that risk to undermine your credibility. For instance, how does the way detainees at Guantanamo Bay are being handled, how does that relate to your promotion of democracy and the rule of law?

In other words: "How can you expect the world not to think you are full of shit when you talk about one thing and do the opposite"?

W's answer revealed the utter depths of his Cluelessness. He seems to think that the only problem we have in holding the moral high ground  is that those darn Abu Gharib pictures made us look bad.  Seriously:

I appreciate that. That, and, for example, the pictures people saw about the prison --...I can understand people being concerned about prison abuse when they see the pictures out of Abu Ghraib, ...I'm realistic enough to know that images on TV have sullied our country's image, at times. And we've just got to continue to spread -- tell people the truth, be open about the mistakes of Abu Ghraib, hold people to account."
{Would it be impolite to note that we've just cleared every officer involved in Abu Gharib except the initial whistleblower?}

The reporter also asked an excellent follow-up about the limits of America's Freedom Doctrine, but Bush's answer was so nonsensical that attempting to read it may cause a sprain of  your frontal lobes, so I'm omitting it as a public service.

And this just in:
It appears that even Dutch high school students are outclassing the American "pros"  (from Dan Froomkin's Column in the Wapo yesterday


I wrote in yesterday's column about the tough questions Bush apparently faced from a group of Dutch students. I say "apparently" because the press was ushered out of the room after the first two.

Well, Dutch NOS television caught up with some of the students afterward, and as far as I can tell from this highly amusing and only somewhat helpful automated translation , after the press was ushered out, one student asked Bush if he realizes his policies have frightened moderate Muslims. And another student apparently asked about the detention of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Now that's just sad. Why, the last time the President met with an unscreened group of Americans for an unscripted discussion......

well okay, thats never actually happened....

Originally posted to Magorn on Wed May 11, 2005 at 10:41 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent work (none)
    Highly recommended.

    But I've put on my protective cap- so can I please have the bit you left out?

    •  here here....I wanna see it (none)
      even if it makes my head explode.

      Be a patriot! Buy a hybrid vehicle!

      by billlaurelMD on Wed May 11, 2005 at 10:47:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  oh alright, but read at your Own Risk (4.00)
      Don't want you suing me later  I'll put in a little protective snark:


      Q: Would you say -- can I follow up?

      THE PRESIDENT: Yes, sure.

      Q: You say you are a realistic person, but there's also a problem with the limits. What are the limits of your idealistic policy? Does every autocratic regime, like Iran, just fear -- just to have fear of the American military power?

      THE PRESIDENT: Oh, as I said, listen, I think issues ought to be solved diplomatically. My last choice is to commit military power.

      { Unless, say, its an oil-rich country whose ruler "tried to kill your daddy"}

       It's a very difficult, hard decision to put people in harm's way.
      { Funny, that's not what you Told Pat Robertsonbefore the invasion,/i>}

       On the other hand, I do believe people ought to be free. I said in my speech, I'm going to say it again in Europe, that we ought to have a goal to end tyranny. Why should we be content when we know people are living in fear? We should have a goal to end the pandemic of AIDS, as well.

      { WTF? apple, meet orange, orange, meet apple}

      In other words, these are big goals. If you don't set big goals, you never achieve big things.
      {,i> like that? I got it off a Sucessories poster I have in the oval Office

       And I recognize it's -- I didn't say end tyranny tomorrow, I said, end tyranny over time.
      { and as that fellar Einstein said, Time is infinite, so I'm really off the hook timetable wise}

      And in my speeches that I talk about, I always say, we need to work with friends to achieve -- and I believe we can achieve those goals. But I'm also recognizing that -- there's an issue, for example, in -- the idealistic position was to work with the world, the United Nations, France and the United States to get Syria out of Lebanon. But there's a consequence to that -- there will be a vacuum. And now we've got to work, if we get Syria completely out -- and I say, "if," because we're able to measure troops, it's harder to measure intelligence services -- but the statement is, all out -- not halfway out, not partially out, but all out, and meaning it when you say it, by the way.
      {--?__! I hsve no words}

      But there's a consequence to that, and that consequence is, is that there will be a period of time when the government, a new government is going to have to try to figure out how to make sure there's minority rights. There's a lot of religious groups. And there the world needs to help this new democracy -- I say, "new democracy," a democracy without Syrian influence that basically determined the course of action -- to help that government go forward. That's another role we should play. But if you didn't have an idealistic streak in you, you wouldn't be saying, it's possible to achieve democracy in Lebanon. Yet, I believe a democracy will be achieved in Lebanon, and I know it will serve as an important example in a neighborhood that is desperate for democracy.

      { could have sworn we were talking about Iraq a moment before}

      I could keep rolling, because I believe that -- I think you're seeing the beginning of great, historic change. And it's going to be bumpy, it's going to be rocky and it's not going to be easy. I just told you, we have our own government -- here we are, the proponents of democracy, and we, ourselves, were certainly not perfect for many years. And we've still got work to do here at home, don't get me wrong. But I feel passionately about the freedom movement because I truly believe that etched in everybody's soul is the desire to be free, and that there is universality in freedom. And I reject the concept that certain people cannot self-govern, or shouldn't be free because of the nature of their religion or the color of their skin.

      { Can you count the number of times I clenched my jaw and gave you a steely glance while saying things like "hard work and freedom"? Uncle Karl taught me to do that}

      Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

      by Magorn on Wed May 11, 2005 at 11:10:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow. (4.00)
        Head-explosion averted by skimming the last two rambles.  Remember when a president had to be able to string two words coherently together and have things like subject-verb order and stuff?  Let alone an at least tenuous grasp of things like war and foreign affairs and such.  God I miss those days... do I ever miss those days.

        Thanks for the inserted snark - you may have saved my life there.

        War is NOT a preventative measure.

        by demandcaring on Wed May 11, 2005 at 11:25:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  great minds think alike? (none)
          I skimmed the last two rambles also, and then laughed when I read this right below :p
        •  okay... (4.00)
          Artist's depiction of what is going on inside my skull:

          Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

        •  Now we know (none)
          why he's only allowed to speak in premeasured, preselected, focus-group tested and approved, 5 word soundbites for the US press corps.  

          Any time he tries to string more words together its clear to even the dullest among us that he is completely divorced from reality and coherence.

          -------- This space intentionally left blank --------

          by puppet10 on Wed May 11, 2005 at 06:08:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And yet what I really hate... (4.00)
            ... is the way that he keeps reaching for the same fucking soundbites when he's supposed to be speaking extemporaneously.  And not just the same general concepts, which is called intellectual consistency and is actually a fine trait in a public speaker... the exact same fucking words.  And he just stutters and sputters along desperately trying to access whichever vaguely relevant soundbite has been drilled into his thick monkey skull, and when he finally gets his mind around one you can tell he thinks he sounds smooth and impressive, when in fact he sounds like an idiot.

            When he talks the picture I get in my head is of that one Price Is Right game where the contestant would rummage around in a bag trying to come up with the disks that had numbers instead of X's so that they might win A New Car.  It's like his head is that big, empty bag, with about 25 different phrases painted on rocks and thrown in there in a jumble.  And if he can just pull out the five correct rocks, he wins A New Question!

            "Okay... what did she just say?  Can't handle that accent.  Limits to freedom... freedom... I know there's something about freedom here in the Bag of Rovian Banality... stall a minute... freedom is on the march!  Nope, no one's clapping... shit, what else do I have in here?  Everyone deserves to be free!  That's closer... there was something else, a real FACE line... yes!  Here it is!  I disagree with those who say that some people don't deserve to be free because of their religion or the color of their skin!  BAM, take that muthafucka!  That is some straight up MLK shit, right there!  Elizabeth Bumiller, you may call me Churchillian now."

            I hate this guy enough when he's just making an ass of himself here in our borders... but when he actually visits other countries and butchers real questions from real reporters (and intrepid Dutch students) I absolutely burn with shame.  I know it's late days to be saying this, but I can't fucking belive this assclown was re-elected by my country. Shaaaaaaaaaaaaaame.  Burnin' like Jenna's vagina.

            •  I hate to say it again (4.00)
              but he was not re-elected.  He and his friends, like Rep. Tom Feeney of FL and Rep. Peter King of NY, just know how to "take care of the counting."  see video below

              No election fraud in 2004 you say? Don't forget this video

              by kathika on Wed May 11, 2005 at 11:19:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The preparation process seems clear... (none)
              The handlers go over some talking points for him to hammer away on and try out some anticipated questions.

              But he's too dumb to be able to think on his own and actually come close to answering the question.  Instead he just throws as many talking points into his reply as he can think of.  Loving "freedom," "the war on terror" and the economy being "strong and getting stronger" are always nice little time-fillers.

              And of course he's not articulate enough to use complete and coherent sentences which really makes the whole thing farcical.

              Could you imagine being a college speech teacher and grading this idiot?  Or judging a moot court and this guy shows up?  Sheesh.

              "I intend to live forever. So far, so good." Steven Wright

              by gsbadj on Thu May 12, 2005 at 03:07:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Christ! Is he ever stupid. (none)
          I mean really brain-dead.  I couldn't get through it, either.

          I'm beginning to think the American press started being soft on him because they could see he is as dumb as a stump, and then got into the habit they couldn't shake when his handlers took advantage of their kindness.  I mean -- it is kind of a national disgrace to have the village idiot as your national leader.  He is the living triumph of low expectations.

      •  Woah (4.00)
        I feel sorry for people who speak English as a second language trying to understand his responses.

        "A simple lie will be believed by more people than a complex truth." - TrueBlueMajority

        by starkness on Wed May 11, 2005 at 11:33:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Head: >>>BOOM!<<< n/t (none)

        "...And bunnies would dance in the streets, and we would find life on Mars." -Peter Singer, Brookings Institution

        by zentiger on Wed May 11, 2005 at 11:39:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  CLEAN UP ON AISLE 5 (4.00)

          God IS NOT a special interest group, Dammit!

          by God loves goats on Wed May 11, 2005 at 12:30:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I tried to warn you people! (4.00)
          But you Never Listen!

           I'm a trained professional, I read this crap so you don't have to.  Its safe for me because  a lawyer I've had my mind altered to such an extent that I can read something like :

          1. Mr. Smith denies driving the car on the night in question, furthermore, he denies owning such a car or EVER driving a car matching its description

          2. that in the alternative, Mr. Smith states that on the night in question, he drove said car at all times in a  safe, legal and prudent manner.

          and have it make perfect sense!.  

          Its too late for me, but at least I can use my mental deformity to spare others some pain.

          Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

          by Magorn on Wed May 11, 2005 at 01:06:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm saved by the legal gene as well... (4.00)
            But, com'on, whouldn't you just once love to see W deposed on video tape under oath.  You could sell that at Comedy Central.  I think if you turned off the sound, it might be even better.
      •  Magorn - I love your commentary (none)
        It sounds just like runs through my head (sometimes it makes it out my mouth) whenever Bush speaks.
      •  <Snark> (4.00)
        No, you don't get it...

        The preznit is a super-genius, using the same infinite improbability algorithms that the Heart of Gold uses (yay, Adams references are again cool), the preznit's ponders ever conceivable point simultaneously.  His speech processing center just can't keep up.

        </snark>

      •  It is possible, probable (4.00)
        that the President is seeking to gain a moral ground that he considers high enough to take him out of reach of the stench of his transgressions.  The problem is, he may then be seeking a personal return on the world's investment.  The consequences of this plan going south are just plain tragedy for millions.  If bits of this tenuous freedom around the world start to unravel, the backlash could lead to some long dark days indeed.  

        Considering that we are fast-tracking our way to second-rate status as a country, the outlook becomes even more grim.

        He may be the uniter after-all; we will be united in our having been abandoned as shareholders and pensioners by our corporations, we will be united in having been abandoned in our trust for our public servants, we will be united in suffering the consequences of a failed education system, we will be united in our subservience to the China/India/Russia leadership of the world.  We will be united in our poverty; spiritual, emotional and fiancial.  

        We must oppose this regime and not be taken down the road paved with lies.  The only good intentions the President has are for himself and his oil buddies.

        One simple question: are the rich richer and the poor poorer since this man took office?

        "Life is short. Life is sweet." So she thought as she hit the street.

        by mccan on Wed May 11, 2005 at 12:10:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What the gibbering fuck was THAT? (4.00)
        As Bob is my witness, I have never seen a less coherent statement by an elected public official who wasn't under the influence.

        Having tried to follow GWB's painful meanderings through the forest of his mind in previous unscripted situations, I can't even say that it would have come off any better in person.

        Can you imagine Teddy Roosevelt stumbling around blindly like this fool?

        -AG

        I'm a pro-gun, pro-nuclear-power Reform Democrat.
        UUJN: Brother Venerable Katana of Mindful Forgiveness

        by AlphaGeek on Wed May 11, 2005 at 12:41:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No kidding about... (none)
        the head-exploding.  It looks like a cut scene from Scanners in here now.

        Maybe I'm just expecting too much, but shouldn't the President of the United States be able to speak in complete sentences?  Honestly, even footage of Gerald Ford is more coherent than that gibbering.

      •  HAHAHAHAHAHA (none)
        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA.....whew...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. ..heh...heh

        Okay, I'm better now.

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... heh... sorry.

        Alright, now back to the real world.

        So I assume that these are from before the British Memo Leak? I wonder if he's going to do any more non-screened press conferences in other countries now?

        -Faux

        In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

        by faux on Wed May 11, 2005 at 02:52:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That last paragraph is a doozy (none)
        It's not easy, it's hard, it's rocky...Yikes being President is hard work, it's hard work.

        How eloquent.

        The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all- John F Kennedy

        by vcmvo2 on Wed May 11, 2005 at 03:36:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't believe Einstein said time was infinite (4.00)
        but he did say, "Only two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity.  And I'm not so sure about the universe."

        Dubya gets credit for proving this one.

        •  the difference between genius and stupidity (none)
          my favorite too true to be funny joke:

          Q:  what is the difference between genius and stupidity?

          A:  genius has limits.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Thu May 12, 2005 at 05:15:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It has never been more apparent (none)
        that Bush gets a list of issues and words that he is required to throw randomly into the speeches and Q&A sessions.  Syria, terror, democracy, freedom, 'new' democracy, etc.  I know, I know, old news, but seriously, how ignorant does he look when we pick apart stuff like this.  I love it!
      •  My God, as a translator, (none)
        I can only say that I pity the poor interpreters who had to handle that muck. They may have even come to doubt their own English comprehension skills, thinking they were missing something somewhere.

        And foreign reporters? Try writing in your article that the U.S. President's replies (or the interpreters' versions) were totally uncomprensible.

        Actually, the whole thing probably managed to come out sounding better in some languages, at least once it was put down in writing. With the hard work of a good translator (actually serving as a rewriter or copy editor in this case), things can be improved a bit. You know, like the good dubbing of a poor actor.

        And it's unfortunate, in this case. Probably only native English-language speakers get to grasp the full idiocy and total mental void of it all.

  •  Bush's definition of Freedom (none)
    I can do whatever the hell I want and no one can stop me.  Screw the rest of you bozos!

    It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead.

    by Steven D on Wed May 11, 2005 at 10:49:42 AM PDT

    •  You printed the long version. (4.00)
       
       The short version of Bush's definition of "freedom", a "sound foreign policy," his domestic agenda goals, and, pretty much every aspect of every thing in his life starts with an "F" and ends with a "u".

       BenGoshi
      __________________

      . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

      by BenGoshi on Wed May 11, 2005 at 11:28:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Freeedom is on the march (4.00)
      away from the United States!

      Loved this bit:

      here we are, the proponents of democracy, and we, ourselves, were certainly not perfect for many years

      As oppoosed to our current near-perfect condition.

      •  What's truly frightening is that... (4.00)
        I believe that statement to be at the heart of the matter. They (the neocons) think America has been broken for the last 40 years or so...they want to remake it in what, they believe, is some grand Utopia. It's, unfortunately, shaping up to look like a bad mimeograph of the Roman Empire. And just like Nero, Bush keeps hammering away on the fiddle.

        "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives." -John Stuart Mill

        by green917 on Wed May 11, 2005 at 01:17:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I just got a song title stuck in my head. (none)
          "The Devil Went Down to Georgia"

          I guess you didn't know it, but I'm a fiddle player too...

          •  johnny rosin up your bow (none)
            Johnny rosin up your bow
            And play your fiddle hard
            Cause hell's broke loose in Washington
            And the devil deals the cards
            And if you win you get this shiny fiddle made of gold
            But if you lose, the devil gets your soul

            Last time I checked, there were no gold fiddles being handed out to the Washington press corps.

            Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Thu May 12, 2005 at 05:40:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  How come (4.00)
    people all over the globe see this dimwit for the idiot he is but 50% in "merica" don't?
    •  conservative talk radio (4.00)
      and conservative cable talk shows, and conservative "news", and not one reporter with the balls to ask an interesting or hard question at one of the 3 press conferences Bush gives every term to American news organizations, and not one unscripted moment in 6 years of campaigning and "governing".

      I'm sure there's more reasons, that's just off the top of my head.

      •  Not just talk radio (4.00)
        It's the overall lack of coverage of the rest of the world. They have a world view we don't. Too much Michael Jackson, Laci Peterson bullshit.

        If you haven't read Tom Fenton's new book "Bad News - The Decline of Reporting, the Business of News, and The Danger to Us All" you need to now. Fenton perspective is eye-opening about what journalist knew prior to 911 and didn't push or couldn't get past the producers. An example;

         "In fact, we know very little of what Washington is doing around the world in our name-and we're certainly not going to learn about it on the nightly news."  

        He goes on to explain why you won't hear it but why we need to hear.

        If the children ask you why so many died, tell them, because their fathers lied." Rudyard Kipling

        by TexDem on Wed May 11, 2005 at 12:48:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Helen Thomas... (none)
        attempted to ask a question or two... oh, never mind...
    •  Just had an idea: (4.00)
      You ever notice how W. uses stock phrases to delay answering questions, such as "I appreciate that," or "I appreciate that question"?

      Do any of you think that is his signal to his ear-piece talking points man to start feeding him lines?

      Are there any more of these stock phrases which might be off-stage cues?

      "The government is us...you and me!" -Theodore Roosevelt

      by Republic Not Empire on Wed May 11, 2005 at 02:09:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think he thinks it makes him look gracious... (none)
        ... and eager-- I've also noticed he does it mostly with questions that are a little more combative or hard to answer.

        Another favorite phrase: "I'm looking forward to..."  I don't know why this one drives me crazy, but it does.  It's also said about things that he's clearly not looking forward to, such as debating Kerry or reading through a bill that he has to sign.

        •  It's called "active listening" (none)
          and it's what you learn in a myriad of marriage counselling, NLP, effective management, and other self-help classes.  And when it's genuiune (and often when it's not) it is usually rather effective -

          - makes the listener feel important and cared about, makes the respondent seem open to criticism and thoughtful.

          I'm pretty certain it went over like a lead balloon among the smart and cynical European press.  Here in the US, everyone knows it's bogus, too, but they blithely let him get away with being so "charming."

          Off that subject, tell me, aren't our American press ashamed of themselves?

          How can they look at themselves in their mirrors anymore?

          "I donated to ePluribus Media. Support citizen journalism!"

          by hopesprings on Thu May 12, 2005 at 06:24:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Fantastic (3.85)
    May I humbly suggest you email Eric Alterman a link to this diary?  He'd get a kick out of it and perhaps even front page your work on his well-read blog.

    Recommended.

    Two-step, lockstep, goosestep: Herr Busch's three-step plan to a righter tomorrow.

    by The Termite on Wed May 11, 2005 at 10:51:12 AM PDT

  •  Good work! (none)
    Where's your tip jar?

    Practice absurdus interruptus - Support ePluribus Media.

    by Catte Nappe on Wed May 11, 2005 at 10:56:35 AM PDT

  •  Uh oh (none)
    ...I can understand people being concerned about prison abuse when they see the pictures out of Abu Ghraib, ...

    Which mispronunciation of Abu Ghraib did Bush use this time?

  •  ACK! (none)
    I recommended and then unrecommended.  I didn't mean to! This diary is fantastic!  Thanks for pulling all of these events together in one spot.

    "History drips in the dark..." Robert Penn Warren

    by khowell on Wed May 11, 2005 at 11:29:08 AM PDT

  •  Jon Stewart (3.50)
    The Daily show.......remember that piece about the UK debate and then the cuts at the BUSH SS reform video.  Send this on.....I'd love to see a tape of Dutch Highschool students asking harder questions then our media.
  •  Want to hear a great reporter doing their job? (4.00)
    Check out theoria'ss article today on Molly Bingham. She's amazing and it's the best article i've read yet on journalism and Iraq.
  •  Quick! (none)
    Send all of your questions for Bush to foreign journalists and students to be asked the next time he travels!

    Not that his answers mean anything anyway.  Indeed, that is the reason he takes these questions there.  Everybody knows his answers are worthless (to the extent that they're even sensical!)... the only reason he has the conference is to keep up illusions and hit/practice his talking points.   They're willing to allow him to take real questions when he travels because they know that nobody here (read: majority, not kossacks) pays any attention to what he says on the road anyway.
    (And only a minority pay attention when he speaks here!)

    To wit, I was actually surprised when he screwed up and allowed the fact that he was wired at a press conference in Europe (before the debates) to come out... not because he screwed up, but because they seemed to have taken the press conference seriously enough to care about what he said!

    Life is like this analogy...

    by shock on Wed May 11, 2005 at 11:31:27 AM PDT

  •  Nice work (none)
    And NICE work, emerging democracies! This level of candor and journalism isn't surprising from countries where liberty hasn't always been a given.
  •  Excellent! (none)
    Thank you for providing us with valuable information on how our media is not doing their jobs.  Oh I wish they would grow a spine.

    Reminds of the movie Untouchables how they replaced the tainted jury with another one.  Now if we can just do that and replace our media with a group of Dutch students.

    •  Well hell (4.00)
      If the NBA is importing players from Europe to make up for its total lack of seasoned talent,  maybe we can start doing the same for  the major media outlets.  

       We can start a draft lottery system based on the comparative level of Clueless/Spinelessness of the previous year's reporting.

      Unfortunately that means that either CNN or Rupert Murdoch will have the #1 pick for the forseeable future

      Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

      by Magorn on Wed May 11, 2005 at 11:39:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well duh... (4.00)
      How many Estonian journalists are millionaires with celebrity status and book deals?

      Journalists abroad don't get paid by GE, Disney, or other corporations. They're public servants (in both senses of the term).

  •  Fantastic Diary (3.50)
    Great job! "Practically perfect in every way."
  •  Good Post (4.00)
    Every time I travel I see the real journalism from the foreign press. The US press has become another rumber stamp for Bush. The only place you can get real facts anymore in the US is from a "fake" new show on Comedy Central and from a series of well written Blogs. There are the occasional good column from some (love ya' Krugman), but next to that if Bush stopped suddenly, the rest of the press's body would go in his butt.

    It is sad that the foreign press will be the only ones that will stand up to Bush, but in today's world they can do some damage.

  •  Recommended and this really ought to be frontpaged (none)
    This compare/contrast with the sorry excuse for media we have here in America is exactly the kind of thing that needs more exposure.
  •  Access (none)
    I guess when you don't have to worry about losing your preciousssss "access," you're free to ask, you know...hard questions.
  •  What the press should be doing (4.00)
    I'm sure many of us here on Kos shake our heads in disbelief every time Howard Kurtz or other representatives of corporate media weigh in with an analysis of why Americans have lost faith in the press.  Invariably they cite Jayson Blair and Rathergate, and the more courageous are willing to trot out the press's failure to present the views of those who questioned the existence of WMD in Iraq. For me, only the latter of these plays any part my declining regard for the fourth estate in the U.S.  I am disillusioned primarily because journalists continue to shirk their duty to ask tough questions of members of the Bush administration.  This is especially apparent when measured against their rabid attacks on Clinton and his advisors. Their current ineffectiveness smells mightily of cowardice, favoritism and lack of integrity.  No wonder so many of us regard with contempt the sorry state of the once great and gutsy institution that is the American press.
    •  GWB is the ripest target (none)
      for investigative journalism and satire in American History and has received relatively little of either.
    •  I was listening (none)
      to Richard Belzer on Majority Report and he had actually been invited to attend a White House press corp dinner, and he asked one of the reporters why they aren't doing their job... The reporter said it's because they are all absolutely terrified of this administration. They've been threatened. So they are cowed.

      And I think that if I were in their shoes, I could understand why they would be. This administration is ruthless and vindictive to the core.

      It sucks though.

      oh, and Richard Belzer hasn't gone to another one since his views became known on Maher....

      •  What have American reporters been threatened with? (4.00)
        What I want to know is what the f*ck have they been threatened with? Loss of access? Loss of their jobs? Blackmail? Physical bodily harm?

        If just one reporter would tell the American people WHAT they've been threatened with, they'd get a lot of people on their side in a damn hurry.

        A word after a word after a word is power. -- Margaret Atwood

        by tmo on Wed May 11, 2005 at 07:34:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Plenty (none)
          As the above post says, these guys know their ass is on the line.  They have mortgages, kids in private school, alimony and a whole host of other fixed costs that seem to come with modern life at the top of the pecking order.

          The threat comes via the pressure that can be put on advertisers, and via advertisers on their bosses. And the bosses can fire any reporter who crosses the line.  After that it is just self-censorship.  Plus, if you don't step out of line, there are little goodies to pick up here and there.  But that's small potatoes compared to the threat of losing your work.

          This how the Soviet system worked in its declining years, after they got rid of the labour camps.

           The press now runs on the bottom line as defined by the sharp pencil brigade.  Reporters are replaceable, and every reporter on the White House beat knows that.  So does Karl Rove.

  •  Great Diary. (none)
    Sadly, it's unlikely any of the media mannequins in our own Press Corps  will take heed. Their complacency, their "I am an important personage" arrogance will prevent them from realizing the depths of their own abysmal failure to do their jobs well.

    Regarding the Q & A in the diary on the subject of "freedom", my very first diary, (not that long ago), addressed the topic, and I include a link here in case anyone might want to read it.

    It is truly amazing that the "Bush as imbecile" aspect of his nature is not even hinted at in our own MSM.

    Defeat the sound-bite.

    by sbj on Wed May 11, 2005 at 11:54:43 AM PDT

  •  Reporters here would be inundated with (4.00)
    death threats if they spoke truth to power. Especially this exalted Protestant Pope.

    Furthermore, they would be "ushered out of the room" immediately, if they were ever allowed in.

    It's almost shocking at this point to hear a hardball thrown at this idjit preznit.

    "It's just something that isn't done."

    Wither real freedom from tyranny?

    The dark at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming age.

    by peeder on Wed May 11, 2005 at 11:54:49 AM PDT

    •  Those Weren't Hardballs!! (none)
      Audience members telling Blair he lied--that's closer to hard ball.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed May 11, 2005 at 12:24:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  maybe so... (none)
      ...but that shouldn't stop them!

      Don't they understand that if all US journalists were being extra protective of each other's right to question the powerful, it would be much harder to intimidate them in the first place?

      really, they're not even worried about death threats.  they're worried about getting that glare from Bush when he's annoyed that he actually has to think for a second or two, and then never being invited back for another round of questioning...

  •  Dear Leader's Daily Thought (none)
    Dear Leader's thought for the day is:

    I do not condone torture.

  •  Bush is a national embarrasment (4.00)
    But then, so is our corporate media, especially the TV networks, all Jacko, all the time.

    My favorite recent example is the dead Pope.  Two weeks of, `the Pope is still dead, but we're paying big bucks for a reporter with great hair to tell us this every day for two fucking weeks!"

    •  2 weeks of coverage (none)
      and really didn't mention the Pope's morals...gems like this one...

      "Embargo should not be imposed on any nation. . . . It is a war against humanity and children suffer the most."

      - JOHN PAUL II

      the "Internets" are gonna kill you guys. The revolution isn't being televised. -Me, banned on freepland and lgf

      by quartzite on Wed May 11, 2005 at 12:47:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  LOL (4.00)
      for the first week after the Pope's passing, my wife and I would turn on the news with a variant of the same comment: "Just want to see if the Pope's still dead, honey."  Which invariably led us to one of our favorite set pieces about Nixon still scrabbling at the inside lid of his coffin: (in ragged Nixon growl) "God damn it, I'm going to claw my way out of here eventually, and when I do, some sorry Jew-loving sonofabitch is going to be sorry he was born!  Arrgghhhh!"  (Try it sometime, it's pretty damn funny if I do say so myself.)
  •  i want a media like they have..uncle sam.please. (none)
  •  Guaranteed (none)
    Bush never goes to Europe again.

    "How do you define Freedom?" Man, I wish we had a REAL press. Great question...

  •  I thought a reporter's job was... (none)
    shilling for any government agency that was willing to pony up some cash.

    A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim.

    by sharkbite on Wed May 11, 2005 at 12:15:43 PM PDT

  •  Freedom (none)
    "Well, I view freedom as where government doesn't dictate." By his own admission, the President of the United States declares that we are not a free people. Freedom is FREEDOM and nothing less. Bush tries to argue for safety, the old model of balance between security and liberty-- but safety is an illusion backed by nothing but threats. Freedom is what we should all be demanding, for once we stop asking for it, it will disappear.

    The President is also correct when he says, "...A free society is one if the people don't like what is going on, they can get new leaders." If we're free enough to realize that we aren't truly free, then we're free to get new leaders. We are free to get new leaders. Let me emphasize this. The elections might no longer be free, but still we are free to get new leaders.

  •  ah mein kinder...but don't you think (none)
    his new suit of clothes was magnificent?

    (answer at your own risk)

    for further inflamation please don't go to my blog cuz i don't have one

    by 2nd balcony on Wed May 11, 2005 at 12:53:17 PM PDT

  •  Great Diary (none)
    But you really shouldn't steal anything, including jokes, from someone.  The joke about the magnetic poetry waas on the Daily Show two nights ago, and repeated last night.  Any plagarism in a piece makes the rest of the piece tainted as far as I am concerned.
    •  ahh that was unintentional....but I'll snip it out (none)
      JS is my hero so that must have been where I heard that....amazing how the subconscious works sometimes...

      Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

      by Magorn on Wed May 11, 2005 at 01:10:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Stealing" jokes? (4.00)
      If I made a joke with a point that I wanted heard, I'd be delighted to see it "stolen". This takes nothing from me, transmits my message, and gives back a little to the culture we all share and benefit from. Seeing it in circulation would delight me. Just my personal preference.

      By the way, when did we start spelling "knowledge" with the letters "IP"?

      ------------------
      Copyleft 2005, technopolitical. No rights reserved.

      Republican conservatives are now boiled frogs. The fire under the pot is the radical right.

      by technopolitical on Wed May 11, 2005 at 01:42:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cool (none)
        Rereading my comment I did sound like a prick, but better we all keep an eye out for each other on these issues.  Sometimes things slip through.  No real big deal.  Great work though.
  •  Why do Estonians and the Dutch hate America? (none)
    Great diary. When's the next imperial tour?
  •  because they're french (none)

    for further inflamation please don't go to my blog cuz i don't have one

    by 2nd balcony on Wed May 11, 2005 at 01:04:13 PM PDT

  •  Excelent Post............. (none)
    Highly recced.
  •  The emporers new clothes (4.00)
    Remember, it was a child who shouted out "But, mommy, the emporer is naked!"

    I always thought that was such a silly story growing up. A whole country wouldnt walk around pretending that a naked man was wearing beautiful clothes just because he was the emporer and everyone said so.

    Now I know otherwise.

    So perhaps these younger democratic countries havent learned the nuances yet.

    Nice to know Bush is spreading democracy. perhaps well see more of these kinds of questions, eh?

  •  To be fair, I though David Gregory was (none)
    fairly aggressive with Bush also.  He kept asking the question and forced Bush to disavow the religious right who would call those with different religions or no religion unpatriotic.  

    "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

    by adigal on Wed May 11, 2005 at 02:14:16 PM PDT

  •  It makes me want to cry... (4.00)
    ...no really. Actual tears. See - I am old enough to remember a time BEFORE CNN, Fox, et al.

    I wish I could recommend a diary twice.
    Very well done - thank you.

  •  ...ummm (4.00)
    THE PRESIDENT: Yes, that's why. If we weren't trying to find the enemy and bring him to justice, the world would look relatively peaceful.
    ...And so when you engage the enemy, when you try to bring them to justice, they don't like to be brought to justice. .. so part of the reasons why activity is up is because we're chasing them down...
    Did he just admit that his policies are inventing problems where there are none? I mean, i know he's trying to say "it's looking bad because we're stirring things up to get rid of the evil" but that's just silly and circular without any external evidence to support it.

    I think he just admitted he's a war-mongering idiot.

    The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

    by Shapeshifter on Wed May 11, 2005 at 03:06:52 PM PDT

  •  Because I stopped doing drugs years ago.. (none)
    and I am trying to remember what it felt like.

    God IS NOT a special interest group, Dammit!

    by God loves goats on Wed May 11, 2005 at 03:55:03 PM PDT

  •  I'm not sure . . . (none)
    . . . if anyone will make it down this far.  But I have a hard time with the phrase "speak truth to power."  We hear that all the time, about some journalist or activist - "she's not afraid to speak truth to power."

    Here's my problem - does anyone really think that those in power don't already know the truth?  That somehow they are oblivious to what they are doing?  It isn't the powerful who need the truth told to them, it's the people.

    Having said that, great post.

    "While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free." - Eugene Debs

    by matthewc on Wed May 11, 2005 at 04:35:42 PM PDT

    •  actually I wonder (none)
      when you are the Man in Charge, its very easy to see   only what you want to see, believe only what you want to believe.   In W's case his carefully crafted bubble makes this effect far more pronounced than usual.   He surrounds himself with people that value    loyalty above competency, He fills his events with people who have actually signed loyalty oaths, and the congress is controlled by his party.

      I think he's begun to truly believe his own carefully crafted lies.

      Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

      by Magorn on Wed May 11, 2005 at 06:58:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well... (none)
        I always thought the point wasn't that power didn't know the truth, but just didn't want it revealed in the light of day.  Hence, speaking truth to power is a dangerous occupation, but one power sorely needs.
  •  Its about time someone asked him some decent (none)
    questions.

    The media in this country continues to marginalize itself in its mindless pursuit of "balance."  If the media of yesterday had a "liberal bias" its only becuase truth, fact, reason, logic, sound thinking, and reality all have a "liberal bias."

    The agnostic, dyslexic, insomniac was up all night wondering if there really is a Dog.

    by bananagrabber on Wed May 11, 2005 at 07:08:13 PM PDT

  •  Wow! (none)
    He answered that freedom question about as well as he handled the sovereignty of Indian nations last year.
  •  Real Journalism in the Netherlands too (none)
    I made 2 diaries on this:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/5/10/194431/584 and
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/5/9/1981/96545

    Both have the real scoop from the Netherlands - I got 1 of the articles in the American media (shock) where it was buried in the Quad Cities Times - and the other one I had to ask a Dutch guy in my office to find for me.

  •  Front page! (none)
    Put this on the front page! Maybe then more American journos will read it and find out how to do their jobs.....
  •  FINALLY (none)
    THE PRESIDENT: Yes, that's why. If we weren't trying to find the enemy and bring him to justice, the world would look relatively peaceful.>

    So he's finally admitting, in his inimitably convoluted way, that WE ARE THE PROBLEM.  Of course, he has no idea that he's doing it.  It's almost like his subconscious mind is speaking the truth, while his body makes unitelligible croaking noises that resemble language.

    Christ on a stick, the guy is a simulacrum.  He's the luckiest fucktard in the world that he has a press like ours.

    "You may experience episodes of explosive amnesia."

    by redcloud54 on Thu May 12, 2005 at 01:19:03 AM PDT

  •  Mr President, (none)
    how many times have you been arrested?
  •  Two thoughts... (none)
    1. we should replace the word "reporter" or "journalist" in American linguo by "cocksucking whore" or CSW for short.

    2. we look more and more like the old USSR every day.
  •  Damn! (none)
    I hate to laugh and barf at the same time.
    Thanks so much for this diary.
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