OT What happens when Bush's interviews aren't scripted

OT What happens when Bush's interviews aren't scripted

Post by basskiss » Sat, 03 Jul 2004 03:56:28

When Bush's interviews with reporters aren't scripted and accepted by
BushCo, and the hard questions are allowed to be asked, it goes like
this. What I don't understand is BushCo crying foul. These are all
legitimate questions, and I'd love to hear the real answers.

WORLD VIEWS: Irish journalist riles Bush over Abu Ghraib, missing
WMDs; world absorbs the 'shock of decapitation'; Arab analysts dissect
Washington's calls for Arab 'reform'; and more.

Edward M. Gomez, special to SF Gate
  Thursday, July 1, 2004

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On the eve of his departure for the European Union-U.S. summit in
Ireland late last week, George W. Bush gave a sit-down interview to
Irish TV journalist Carole Coleman in the White House Map Room. (Radio
Television Eire; video clip may not work with all players)

Unlike American reporters, who lob softball questions Bush can field
with prepared, rehearsed answers, Coleman performed as most European
broadcast interviewers normally do -- in a naturally engaging,
intellectually rigorous, conversational manner. However, Bush bristled
at Coleman's questions and interviewing style, about which the White
House (which posted a transcript of the session on its Web site) later
"lodged an official complaint with the Irish embassy in Washington."
(Times; subscription required)

"[T]he majority of our public do not welcome your visit because
they're angry over Iraq, they're angry over Abu Ghraib. Are you
bothered by what Irish people think?" Coleman asked as the interview
began. If such questioning set the encounter's tone, so did Bush's
tendency to respond by testily demanding, "Listen ...." At one point
he commanded, "Let me finish. Let me finish, please. Please. You ask
the questions, and I'll answer them, if you don't mind." (White House
transcript)

Reminding Bush that U.S. forces never had found weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq after toppling Saddam Hussein, Coleman noted, "Mr.
President, the world is a more dangerous place today. I don't know
whether you can see that or not." Bush replied, incredulously, "Why do
you say that?" Sounding defensive, he insisted that subsequent
terrorist bombings in Bali, Istanbul and Madrid were not related to
his invasion of Iraq. (White House transcript)

Coleman tried to pursue her theme, saying, "But I think there is a
feeling that the world has become a more dangerous place because you
have taken the focus off al Qaeda and diverted [it to] Iraq. Do you
not see that the world is a more dangerous place? I saw four of your
soldiers lying dead on ... television the other day ...." (White House
transcript)

"Listen, nobody cares more about the death than I do ...," Bush
retorted.

And so it went for what, for Bush and his aides, turned out to be an
excruciating 15 minutes. "Bush and his media handlers" were "furious"
at Coleman, the first Irish reporter in 20 years to land a White House
interview with a U.S. president. They bemoaned what they felt had been
her "lack of respect." (Times; subscription required)

As a result, "journalists traveling with ... Bush ... in Europe
noted," the White House canceled an interview First Lady Laura Bush
had been scheduled to do with Radio Television Eire after arriving in
Ireland with her husband.