Join 3,514 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Bush takes to insulting his critics
May 27, 2002 12:05 PM   Subscribe

Bush takes to insulting his critics "Very good," Mr. Bush said sardonically. "The guy memorizes four words, and he plays like he's intercontinental." "I can go on," Mr. Gregory offered. "I'm impressed — que bueno," said Mr. Bush, using the Spanish phrase for "how wonderful." He deadpanned: "Now I'm literate in two languages."
posted by fellorwaspushed (44 comments total)

 
Doesn't sound like true "insulting" to me. Gregory asked for it; he was being just what Bush claimed: a show-off and a pompous jerk, under the circumstances. For all the Euro-bashing that goes on over here, most of us know that the *majority* of Europeans stand on the side of freedom and support the U.S. The vocal minority, of course, gets all the press. For Gregory to attempt to amplify any such discord was simply silly, and he got spanked for it by the President. No big deal.
posted by davidmsc at 12:36 PM on May 27, 2002


What about when Bush calls Putin "Pootie-Poot"?
posted by Marquis at 12:56 PM on May 27, 2002


What the heck does "stand on the side of freedom" mean? Sounds like you're saying that freedom only exists in the US.
posted by skallas at 1:10 PM on May 27, 2002


For all the Euro-bashing that goes on over here, most of us know that the *majority* of Europeans stand on the side of freedom and support the U.S.

That might be true, but many are against George W. Bush. Friday's offline edition of Le Monde, what I would call a center-right newspaper, shows in a graph accompanying a story about the Putin-Bush meetings that 51 percent of French view Bush in a negative light (against 26 percent positive). In Germany, it's 50% negative, 19% positive. In Russia, it's 45% negative, 25% positive. Only in Italy are the numbers different: 46% positive, 26 percent negative. Considering that Germany, France and Russia are three of the biggest players in Europe, these numbers are signficant.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:19 PM on May 27, 2002


You know, between this and the ongoing Rumsfeld stand-up routine, press conferences are getting downright watchable.
posted by apostasy at 1:24 PM on May 27, 2002


There could be bad blood between them because of the Rocky Mountain Oyster Fiasco.
posted by fahfooh at 1:27 PM on May 27, 2002


Seems like he's being relatively friendly to journalists, just returning fire on his critics. What's the problem again?
posted by revbrian at 1:44 PM on May 27, 2002


Sounds like you're saying that freedom only exists in the US.

No he's saying that if you don't agree with everything the Bush White House does, you're aiding and abetting the terrorists
posted by matteo at 1:53 PM on May 27, 2002


20, 000 protestors in Germany is considered a marginal protest by Chirac? Those are some pretty wide margins!
posted by srboisvert at 2:32 PM on May 27, 2002


As Mr. Bush stepped away from the podium, he called to Mr. Gregory: "As soon as you get in front of a camera, you start showing off."

Lordy: so showing off and being a 'pompous jerk' is now when, in a Paris press conference, you ask M. le President un question en français? Not at all perpetuating the myth of the American abroad, hmm? At least when Rev. Tony does press conferences in France, he tries his best to take and answer questions in the demotic, and at least the BBC isn't made to feel embarrassed by sending out its francophone correspondents. Obviously, being able to speak a little French now marks you out as one of those people with suspect philosophies.

(In passing, I was listening last week to a press conference with Sven-Goran Eriksson, the England football manager, who took and answered questions in Portuguese and Italian as well as English. And he's a Swede. Which is more than enough to embarrass many British footballers, for whom English is hard enough.)
posted by riviera at 2:37 PM on May 27, 2002


Amen, riviera.
posted by donkeyschlong at 3:09 PM on May 27, 2002


Mr. Bush, using the Spanish phrase for "how wonderful," deadpanned: "Now I'm literate in two languages."

Really? What's the other one.?
posted by mischief at 3:18 PM on May 27, 2002


Wow, Mo Nickels, those look like the numbers that Bush won in the last "election."
posted by Eamon at 3:34 PM on May 27, 2002


Surely it's possible to like the US & still think GWB is a total knob end?

Or does that make me a terrorist?
posted by i_cola at 4:01 PM on May 27, 2002


Is it worth pointing out that being literate does not have anything to do with being able to speak? Whatever else Bush is, he doesn't appear to be fluent in English.
posted by muckster at 5:11 PM on May 27, 2002


The reporter deserved it. Bush seems to have learned some tricks from the master of dullard reporter thrashing: Don Rumsfeld.

Oh, this is Metafilter! I forgot. Ok, here goes:

Bush is bad! Bush is dumb!

There, that makes it all better. What was I thinking before?!

Metafilter: Professional Nonconformity
posted by evanizer at 5:20 PM on May 27, 2002


Why do you think the reporter deserved it, Evan?
posted by muckster at 5:38 PM on May 27, 2002


Mr. Bush, using the Spanish phrase for "how wonderful," deadpanned: "Now I'm literate in two languages."

Really? What's the other one.?

Don't you mean "Which two?"
posted by fnord_prefect at 7:04 PM on May 27, 2002


Mr. Bush, using the Spanish phrase for "how wonderful," deadpanned: "Now I'm literate in two languages."

Really? What's the other one.?

Don't you mean "Which two?"


Damn you guys are so nitpicky. Some people have way too much time on their hands.
posted by spidre at 7:13 PM on May 27, 2002


I love hearing "the reporter deserved it" from someone who is complaining about simplistic knee-jerk rhetoric.

It sounds to me like the exchange between Bush and the NBC News correspondent David Gregory was affectionate joshing -- the kind of elbow-to-the-ribs stuff the prez loves to dole out.

Without seeing the event it's hard to judge, but I don't think accusing a TV reporter of being a showoff is particularly biting.
posted by rcade at 7:38 PM on May 27, 2002


rcade, shhh! If you use logic and reasoning to understand the situation, bashing Bush for being an idiot isn't as funny.
posted by BlueTrain at 8:55 PM on May 27, 2002


bush's simplistic arguements demand to be mocked

'you're either for us or for killing babies with clubs. I ask you now which is it to be people ?'
posted by mrben at 9:29 PM on May 27, 2002


Considering that Germany, France and Russia are three of the biggest players in Europe, these numbers are signficant.

Well then it's a good thing he's not running for president of any of those countries.

So what? Europeans have never been fond of US presidents. The few exceptions being US presidents who either aided european causes or dumped a ton of money on their economies. Guess how many Americans like Chirac and his kissing-terrorist-ass politics? Politicians do what's best for the people they represent and last time I checked, the US president did not answer to German, French or Russian voters. 20,000 protestors in Berlin? I'm guessing they had similar numbers at the Neo-Nazi rallies that spark up every 6 - 12 months. Should Germany become a Nazi government because of 20,000 protestors?
posted by billman at 9:45 PM on May 27, 2002


I tend to agree with Rogers -- I think fellorwaspushed spun the FPP too much. The Times's headline "mocks" was much more accurate than "insults". David Gregory is a WH correspondent, and thus Bush sees him all the time. We know he's a teaser and josher and nicknamer, and this was probably all in good fun, because he'd never seen Gregory speak French before. His mocking didn't seem to be directed at Gregory as a critic, especially since he went on to answer the question very thoroughly. If anything, this was Bush either defusing tension before such a touchy question, or even just buying time.

Some people are way too sensitive.
posted by dhartung at 9:53 PM on May 27, 2002


Anti-intellectual chic. Speaking the language of the country you are in opens you up to ridicule; when in Rome, speak English. What, our language isn't good enough for them? How dare Mr. Gregory put on airs like that, the presumptuous twit. Go back to your coffee-house, or your college, you academic pinhead, and good riddance.
posted by Hildago at 11:04 PM on May 27, 2002


Yeah. What a lofty fop. Bunkerize him.
(Still, in this case, it really does read like puppy rassling.)
posted by Opus Dark at 11:38 PM on May 27, 2002


The press isn't stupid.
Neither is Bush.

The stupid people are those that spend $1 to read this exagerrated shlock.
posted by ttrendel at 12:54 AM on May 28, 2002


20,000 protestors in Berlin? I'm guessing they had similar numbers at the Neo-Nazi rallies that spark up every 6 - 12 months.

No, there aren't 20,000 nazis in Germany. Luckily.
posted by Eirixon at 1:59 AM on May 28, 2002


I don't get it. If you read the exchange, Bush's comments make no sense whatsoever.


Gregory: I wonder why it is you think there are such strong sentiments in Europe against you and against this administration? Why, particularly, there's a view that you and your administration are trying to impose America's will on the rest of the world, particularly when it comes to the Middle East and where the war on terrorism goes next? And, Mr. President [Chirac], would you maybe comment on that?

Bush: Very good. The guy memorizes four words, and he plays like he's intercontinental.

Gregory: I can go on...

Bush: I'm impressed — que bueno. Now I'm literate in two languages. Look, the only thing I know to do is speak my mind, to talk about my values, to talk about our mutual love for freedom and the willingness to defend freedom and, David, I think a lot of people on the continent of Europe appreciate that. There's a heck of a lot more that unites us than divides us. We share the same values; we trade $2 trillion a year. I feel very comfortable coming to Europe; I feel very comfortable coming to France. I've got a lot of friends here.

Gregory: Sir, if I could just follow...

Bush: Thank you.


He ridicules the guy questioning, doesn't answer the question, and ignores any efforts to respond. What a warblogger.
posted by Neale at 4:01 AM on May 28, 2002


It sounds as if Bush was just being a dick to avoid a sensitive question and even to step on Chirac's chance to answer it.
posted by pracowity at 4:10 AM on May 28, 2002


'you're either for us or for killing babies with clubs. I ask you now which is it to be people ?'

Hm. My Lai not part of this histororical context?
posted by leafy at 4:14 AM on May 28, 2002


Politicians do what's best for the people they represent and last time I checked, the US president did not answer to German, French or Russian voters.

Thank you for that, Captain Obvious. This is why it matters that Europeans dislike Bush: if the citizens have negative feelings toward the visiting American president, then the leaders may very well act on that mood. This affects treaties, the new NATO, the so-called "fight against terrorism," and everything else. It *is* important that Europeans dislike Bush, the same way it was important that they liked Clinton. Anti-American sentiment is growing because of Bush. It weakens our ability to negotiate, hampers our business, reduces our options for travel, diminishes the level of political discourse, and encourages terrorists who might feel that if they bomb the US again nobody will complain too much.
posted by Mo Nickels at 5:53 AM on May 28, 2002


Let's be honest: If Jed Bartlett did this, we'd think it was pretty cool. I still think Bush is a weenie, but from a distance it was kind of funny.
posted by mecran01 at 5:58 AM on May 28, 2002


I bet Bush was drunk.
posted by bshort at 7:09 AM on May 28, 2002


Politics aside, it's about time we had some entertaining presidential news.
posted by trioperative at 7:23 AM on May 28, 2002


I agree with trioperative, and frankly, I wish our president would be more pissy more often.
Everyone seems to think we're pompous dickheads anyway, we may as well run with it a bit.
posted by dong_resin at 7:34 AM on May 28, 2002


> I bet Bush was drunk.

Not used to wine, maybe?

> Everyone seems to think we're pompous dickheads
> anyway, we may as well run with it a bit.

But how can he top his dad puking in the Japanese prime minister's lap?
posted by pracowity at 8:10 AM on May 28, 2002


His mocking didn't seem to be directed at Gregory as a critic, especially since he went on to answer the question very thoroughly.

Thoroughly? What was Bush's answer, exactly? I couldn't find one amid all the shilly-shallying.
posted by Ty Webb at 9:13 AM on May 28, 2002


Look, the only thing I know to do is speak my mind, to talk about my values, to talk about our mutual love for freedom

This reminds me of something, now what was it....

I don't really understand your Congress, or your system of checks and balances.. because, as I said during the campaign - I'm just a caveman! I fell on some ice, and later got thawed out by scientists. But there is one thing I do know - you're either with us or you're with the terrorists.
posted by ahughey at 9:46 AM on May 28, 2002


conform to non-conformity fellow mefites. its the sweetest way to feign intellect.
posted by Satapher at 9:48 AM on May 28, 2002


funny, I thought dropping pithy non sequiturs was the sweetest way...
posted by Ty Webb at 10:27 AM on May 28, 2002


Both the question and answer were bad. Next case.

We've had Geo. on the front page of the Herald-Tribune for four days running. When's he going back home?
posted by Dick Paris at 11:01 AM on May 28, 2002


Mo: Nice assertions. Perhaps you could elaborate on exactly how any why our government needs to be seen in a good light by the EU. What consequences other than the vague, it'll hurt us in negotiations, are there? I ask because I see it being far more likely that the EU would suffer far greater consequences by cutting of the US than the other way around.
posted by billman at 5:03 PM on May 28, 2002


To add to that: Why does the US or any nation need the approbation of a non-democratic, quasi-governmental body like the EU? Specific nations yes, but the EU? They can go choke on their insufficiently viscous tomato sauce.
posted by evanizer at 5:58 PM on May 28, 2002


« Older Guimp.com...  |  Sex in prison, an insiders vie... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments