Mr President your mike is still on!
July 17, 2006 8:04 AM   Subscribe

In this episode of the George & Tony Show the President and the Prime Minister are in Russia eating brie, discussing geopolitics, leaving their mics open, and whatnot.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (139 comments total)

 
disclaimer: might not actually be brie.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:04 AM on July 17, 2006


Cute Hezbollah tags!

I'm torn: On one hand, people are people, and I'm sure when Tony and George to the loo they talk smack just like the rest of us.

On the other hand, I'm so tired of our cowboy. What about Iran?
posted by cavalier at 8:08 AM on July 17, 2006


Hezbollah is a synonym for Iran.
posted by basicchannel at 8:09 AM on July 17, 2006


GO... when they GO. :p
posted by cavalier at 8:09 AM on July 17, 2006


"You eight hours? Me too. Russia's a big country and you're a big country. Takes him eight hours to fly home. Not Coke, diet Coke. … Russia's big and so is China. Yo Blair, what're you doing? Are you leaving,"

He sounds more like a fratboy every day. I understand that he's a person, too, but is it too damn must to ask that he talk to other national leaders as if he's a professional, you know, doing an important job? It's not a kegger where his only responsability is finding a ride home and a refill on his drink.
posted by piratebowling at 8:15 AM on July 17, 2006


much, not must. (sigh) it's gonna be a long day.
posted by piratebowling at 8:16 AM on July 17, 2006


Big deal. I understand that there's a reporter for the New York Times who is a major league asshole, too.

Sometimes you gotta wonder what's a mistake and what isn't.
posted by crunchland at 8:18 AM on July 17, 2006


Why is this special? Did I miss something in their little secret conversation?
posted by public at 8:19 AM on July 17, 2006


more details in the NYT version
posted by caddis at 8:26 AM on July 17, 2006


two terms of GWB: that's a mistake!
posted by I, Credulous at 8:26 AM on July 17, 2006


Politicians Gone Wild indeeed.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:26 AM on July 17, 2006


I was prepared to be outraged. I was sorely disappointed. I am outraged at my lack of outrage!
posted by gigawhat? at 8:29 AM on July 17, 2006


"You're a big country." LOL
posted by greensweater at 8:30 AM on July 17, 2006


For open mike fun it is hard to beat Ronny:
My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.
posted by caddis at 8:30 AM on July 17, 2006


For the security of the nation there is stuff you must not hear, like, what's really going on !

...not really, you couldn't do anything about that you are to depressed. Anyway
See the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this
Because surely George doesn't care about a lot of things and he's not the only one I guess.
posted by elpapacito at 8:30 AM on July 17, 2006


gosh this article makes it sound like our pres can put sentences together, albeit immaturely, wow...
im sure there are far more compelling conversations that take place without the accidentally left on mic...
i think he was sponsered by diet coke to work diet coke into a conversation about hezzbolah as much as he could, glad he switched to diet coke from the harder stuff...
posted by beachgrrlmusic at 8:33 AM on July 17, 2006


Why is this special? Did I miss something in their little secret conversation?

Not sure it is all that special, just mildly amusing. Perhaps a better question is: Why is it that there's always someone on MeFi who has to provide a snarky response to every FPP?
posted by inoculatedcities at 8:33 AM on July 17, 2006


Why is this special? Did I miss something in their little secret conversation?

Yes, he wanted Diet Coke, not regular! Don't you see what this means?!? All that Nutrisweet? And he's clearly in the pocket of that mega-conglomerate ¢o¢a-¢ola! The man has no scruples!
posted by pardonyou? at 8:39 AM on July 17, 2006


More importantly, did you see one of the other stories? Avril Lavigne got married???
posted by indiebass at 8:43 AM on July 17, 2006


Awww. On breaks from turning the world to shit, they buy each other sweaters. That is so cute.
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:43 AM on July 17, 2006


Helpfully, they managed to say exactly the sort of things they would want to say publically if they weren't constrained by diplomatic niceties! Gosh, that was lucky, wasn't it, etc, etc, la la la and oh god I wish I was able to react to major international events with something other than a combination of despairing ennui and horrified cynicism.
posted by flashboy at 8:45 AM on July 17, 2006


Meh... I am experiencing difficulties in my attempt to give a shit about this story.
posted by clevershark at 8:48 AM on July 17, 2006


Someone should teach that ignorant monkey not to eat with his mouth open.
posted by dobbs at 8:49 AM on July 17, 2006


Not sure it is all that special, just mildly amusing. Perhaps a better question is: Why is it that there's always someone on MeFi who has to provide a snarky response to every FPP?

Hey I was just making sure I hadn't missed anything. I did lol at it too you know :)
posted by public at 8:51 AM on July 17, 2006


Well, that's certainly an interesting fact that world leaders are, in fact, people too.

Hey, what the - Avril got married? Now THAT is news!
posted by antifuse at 8:51 AM on July 17, 2006


"Yo Blair!"

WTF??
posted by fire&wings at 9:03 AM on July 17, 2006


pallas athena, indeed cuteness personified...
if we could just get world leaders to knit, their hands could stay off the big buttons for a while....
posted by beachgrrlmusic at 9:04 AM on July 17, 2006


Irony?? The W speaks of irony? He leads the effort to get Syria away from closer control of Hezbollah and now whines that Syria needs to put a stop to this?

God he's a stupid man.
posted by wrapper at 9:05 AM on July 17, 2006


Why is it that there's always someone on MeFi who has to provide a snarky response to every FPP?

MetaFilter: Have FPP, will snark.
posted by horseblind at 9:07 AM on July 17, 2006


inoculatedcities : Why is it that there's always someone on MeFi who has to provide a snarky response to every FPP?

'We see by your number that you are a newbie...'
These words we do say as you boldly step by,
'Come sit down beside us and hear our sad story,
We will snark at your post and then spit in your eye.'
posted by crunchland at 9:14 AM on July 17, 2006


From the NYT story:

In another segment Mr. Bush told an aide asking him about his upcoming remarks, “I’m just going to make it up, right here — I’m not going to talk too damn long like the rest of them.”

He added, “Some of these guys talk too long.”

posted by spacewaitress at 9:17 AM on July 17, 2006


All that Nutrisweet? And he's clearly in the pocket of that mega-conglomerate ¢o¢a-¢ola! The man has no scruples!

Actually, that was Rumsfeld's deal.
posted by wfc123 at 9:21 AM on July 17, 2006


Is there a transcript of that all somewhere?
posted by taursir at 9:21 AM on July 17, 2006


Yo Blair, *chin jut* S’up.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:27 AM on July 17, 2006


Transcript? Try here
posted by Mister Bijou at 9:34 AM on July 17, 2006


Would be interesting if it was a carefully-crafted stunt to present a veneer of what they might privately think. It would be ingenious, in fact.
posted by zek at 9:34 AM on July 17, 2006


The sweater comment was actually pretty funny and he sounded like a real live human being. Weird.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:45 AM on July 17, 2006


Big deal.

It is a big deal because nice-little Christians aren't supposed to use 4-letter words. But I guess that's the least of his problems...
posted by afx114 at 9:49 AM on July 17, 2006



"Mr Bush was recorded telling Tony Blair, privately, that Syria should press Lebanese militants to stop doing this shit."

At 5.35 in the afternoon. I love the BBC.
posted by cillit bang at 9:51 AM on July 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Mr. Bijou.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:52 AM on July 17, 2006


Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made. - Otto von Bismarck
posted by blue_beetle at 9:53 AM on July 17, 2006


Would be interesting if it was a carefully-crafted stunt to present a veneer of what they might privately think. It would be ingenious, in fact.

Yeah interesting. Like how it'd be interesting if all this Israeli agression wasn't secretly encouraged by our leadership as a way to diffuse the recent swell in public sentiment that some within the administration are guilty of criminal conduct. Like how it's be interesting if Bush had just very publically threatened to reduce Russia to an "Iraqi style democracy," and responded to Putin's protests by saying "Just wait..." Yeah, real interesting. All of it.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:55 AM on July 17, 2006


Yo, Blair. What are you doing?

Whazzzzzzzup?
posted by frogan at 9:56 AM on July 17, 2006


Jesus Christ, what an asshole.
posted by bardic at 10:00 AM on July 17, 2006


LGF is suggesting the mic was "planted by the MSM", even though , you know, Cousin Tony is clearly visible switching it off. (Yes, I linked to LGF just there.)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:03 AM on July 17, 2006


No Fox News coverage?
posted by boo_radley at 10:05 AM on July 17, 2006


I love the Hugh Grant-ish intonations put into that transcript.

Bush: "Yo Blair, whaddaya think about Condi getting Brazilian waxed?"

Blair: Well...it's only if I mean... you know. If she's got a..., or if she needs the ground prepared as it were... Because obviously if she goes out, she's got to succeed, if it were, whereas I can go out and just talk.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 10:10 AM on July 17, 2006


What makes it a story is that something serious is going down in the mideast, and Bush's analysis of the situation sounds likes that of my next door neighbor Larry the plumber who dropped out of high school. While he's talking with other Important People, no less.

You're right it's not news. Just confirmation of my fears...
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:12 AM on July 17, 2006


Jesus. My eight-year-old knows not to chew with her mouth open.
posted by EarBucket at 10:12 AM on July 17, 2006


Bush: Thanks for the sweater; it was awfully thoughtful of you. I know you picked it out yourself.

Blair: Oh, absolutely!

World leaders gone domestic.
posted by thebigdeadwaltz at 10:12 AM on July 17, 2006


From the LGF link:

"Good for President Bush! That’s exactly how I want my president to talk."

You know, not like a world leader or anything.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:14 AM on July 17, 2006


Well, at the risk of defending an LGF viewpoint, there is something to be said for statesmen sounding human as well as representative.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:17 AM on July 17, 2006


Blair: Syria
Bush: Why?
Blair: Because I think this is all part of the same thing
Bush: Yeah.
Blair: What does he think? He thinks if Lebanon turns out fine, if we get a solution in Israel and Palestine, Iraq goes in the right way...
Bush: Yeah, yeah, he is sweet
Blair: He is honey. And that's what the whole thing is about. It's the same with Iraq
Who's "he"? What's all part of the same thing? Hmm.
posted by Firas at 10:22 AM on July 17, 2006


If the "thing" is the ominous Islamofasciserrorist threat, then, duh, no shit.

If the "thing" is something else, it would sure be interesting to know what.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:25 AM on July 17, 2006


You know who else used to leave his mike on? Hitler.
---------
Hitler: Yo Stalin. How are you doing?
Stalin: I'm just...
Hitler: You're leaving?
Stalin: No, no, no not yet. On this trade thingy...[inaudible]
Hitler: Jawol I told that to the man
...

Hitler: Tell her to put him on them on the spot.Thanks for the sweater it's awfully thoughtful of you
Stalin: It's a pleasure
Hitler: I know you picked it out yourself
Stalin: Oh, absoultely, in fact [inaudble]
Hitler: What about Churchill [inaudible] his attitude to ceasefire and everything else ... happens
Stalin: Yeah, no I think the [inaudible] is really difficult. We can't stop this unless you get this international business agreed.
....
posted by Smedleyman at 10:26 AM on July 17, 2006


Oh noes! The president is speaking informally in an informal situation!

I think he comes off better here than he does when trying to speak "like a world leader."
posted by mullacc at 10:26 AM on July 17, 2006


So maybe they're saying "Kofi Annan will be ok with things [will be sweet, will be honey] if things turn out fine everywhere."

Well. So would I. "If Lebanon turns out fine, if we get an I-P solution, if Iraq goes the right way".
posted by Firas at 10:30 AM on July 17, 2006


A room full of the world's leaders, discussing how to prevent World War IV is not an informal situation.

I guess I'm one of those elitists but my entire life experience tells me that smart people do not talk like this.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:31 AM on July 17, 2006


Well, at the risk of defending an LGF viewpoint, there is something to be said for statesmen sounding human as well as representative.

You can sound human without being a slackjawed monosyllabic buttermouth.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:32 AM on July 17, 2006


That part of the transcript is wrong. It should be:
Blair: Syria
Bush: Why?
Blair: Because I think this is all part of the same thing
Bush: Yeah.
Blair: What does he think? He thinks if Lebanon turns out fine, if we get a solution in Israel and Palestine, Iraq goes in the right way...
Bush: Yeah, yeah, he's through
Blair: He's had it. And that's what the whole thing is about. It's the same with Iraq
Not that that helps answer who "he" is.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 10:33 AM on July 17, 2006


It is a big deal because nice-little Christians aren't supposed to use 4-letter words. But I guess that's the least of his problems...
posted by afx114 at 9:49 AM PST on July 17 [+fave] [!]


Seriously, is anyone surprised that Bush uses the word "shit"?
posted by Stauf at 10:38 AM on July 17, 2006


I think the "he" is referring to Kofi Annan.
posted by interrobang at 10:39 AM on July 17, 2006


God, of course. His plans for the end of the world are on the public record.
posted by hank at 10:40 AM on July 17, 2006


Blair: Oh, absolutely!

What about Kofi Annan? I don't like the sequence of it. His attitude is basically cease-fire and everything else happens.

I think the thing that is really difficult is you can’t stop this unless you get this international presence agreed.

Bush: She's going. I think Condi's going to go pretty soon.

Blair: Well that's all that matters. If you see, it will take some time to get out of there. But at least it gives people…

Bush: It's a process I agree. I told her your offer too.

Blair: Well it's only…or if she's gonna or if she needs the ground prepared as it were. See if she goes out, she's got to succeed as it were, where as I can just go out and talk.

Bush: See the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s--- and it's over.

Blair: Because I think this is all part of the same thing. What does he think? He thinks if Lebanon turns out fine, if he gets a solution in Israel and Palestine, Iraq goes in the right way, he's done it. That's what this whole things about. It's the same with Iran.

Bush: I felt like telling Kofi to get on the phone with Assad and make something happen. We're not blaming Israel and we're not blaming the Lebanese government.


From here. Kofi Annan is the last "he" referenced. Unless they're using hand-signals over the phone to point at their vampire overlords, or something.
posted by interrobang at 10:43 AM on July 17, 2006


Ooops, I mean, "from here".
posted by interrobang at 10:44 AM on July 17, 2006


Metafilter: Russia's big and so is China
posted by Outlawyr at 10:45 AM on July 17, 2006


This was an amusing/disturbing footnote to a big news day, but now CNN has it as the top story.
Oh yeah, there was a tsunami and some people died.
posted by 2sheets at 10:47 AM on July 17, 2006


Am I the only West Wing nerd who remembers this exact "accidentally leave the mic live" ruse as a means to an end?

Can't get over the sense of W as frat-boy in his first one-act play. "Yo, blair!"
posted by abulafa at 10:48 AM on July 17, 2006


thanks interrobang
posted by caddis at 10:49 AM on July 17, 2006


"THE OPEN MIC"

INT. DAY. THE LUNCHEON HALL AT THE 2006 G8 SUMMIT IN ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA.

DA PREZ: Check, check, dis thing on?
B-TONE: Why, hello, guv'nor.
DA PREZ: Ey yo B!, 'sup?
B-TONE: I'm just... [beat] ...dropping a beat.

Loud, dirty old school hip-hop beat starts. Dining hall falls silent as all gaze at DA PREZ and B-TONE, awing their ill skills on the mic.

DA PREZ:
Yo! At! The G8 summit we be rockin da mic
We be off da record so we say what we like

B-TONE:
Erm, Mr. President, I do have a hunch-

DA PREZ:
Chill out Tony and eat your lunch!
I sure as hell ain't preparin no speeches
I just think out loud and let the other preach

Now, returning fast to the matter at hand
We're all world leaders and we're ruling the land
I'm munching on brie and Tony got me a sweater

B-TONE:
I did pick it myself

DA PREZ:
It gets better and better!
World leaders at lunch, we're the best of the stable
Like a DJ, we be turnin the tables

B-TONE:
Now, about the Mideast, don't you think this thing might spiral?

DA PREZ:
Don't worry bout it Tone, this democracy shit is viral!

We'll be sendin Rice to Syria to break the ice
We be setting the criteria and make em think twice
Throw a holla at Hezbollah and if they dig my rhymes
They will stop their shit, we'll have peace in our time!

B-TONE:
But what about Palestine-

DA PREZ:
I say just let them be
I'm chilling, sipping on my Diet Coke and munching on my brie

B-TONE:
True dat. Honestly, it is.

BOTH:
Double true!

DA PREZ:
Now, let's wrap this shit up, I got an eight hour flight
I get a little tired always rockin the mic
We be informally exchangin while the others be hatin
But I don't care cuz they can't hear us - it's just a G8 thing.

B-TONE:
Um, Mr. President?

DA PREZ:
What.

B-TONE reaches and presses a button.

*click*

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:50 AM on July 17, 2006 [13 favorites]


Seriously, is anyone surprised that Bush uses the word "shit"?

It's not the bad word. It's the talking with the mouth open. The failure to engage in conversation with Blair, he sounds like he's just interrupting in non-sequitors. What he's actually saying when he talks about irony and shit is "if the bad guys stopped shooting back, this whole thing would be over. " I won't even get into comments like "Russia is big, and so is China." If you were having a conversation with this man at a bar, would you not want to punch him in the face?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:50 AM on July 17, 2006


You can sound human without being a slackjawed monosyllabic buttermouth.

That we can agree on.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:50 AM on July 17, 2006


I simply hate the brown word! apologies to John Waters
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:51 AM on July 17, 2006


goodnews, you are amazing.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:52 AM on July 17, 2006


Ok. So:

Kofi Annan wants a ceasefire ASAP with deals getting hashed out later.

Blair thinks there won't be a ceasefire unless there are international peacekeepers/observers/whatever there.

Now someone (lebanon? syria? israel?) needs to be convinced to allow international 'presence'.

Bush wants to send Rice over, perhaps partly to do this convincing. Blair points out that it's not going to be a quick process. Bush agrees. Bush says that he told Rice that Blair offered to go.

Bush's ADD kicks in and he says why don't they just get Syria to stop it instead of the whole ceasefire negotiation process. Blair says there are larger things in play here so there needs to be a more comprehensive ceasefire, or something.

What's this part mean? "Blair: Well it's only…or if she's gonna or if she needs the ground prepared as it were. See if she goes out, she's got to succeed as it were, where as I can just go out and talk."
posted by Firas at 10:53 AM on July 17, 2006


gnfti, Awesome, when do we see this in MeFi Music?
posted by caddis at 10:54 AM on July 17, 2006


gnfti, Awesome, when do we see this in MeFi Music?

I don't know, caddis, but I'd check out NBC this saturday. (Lorne, my email is in my profile. A check will be fine.)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:58 AM on July 17, 2006


The sweater comment was actually pretty funny and he sounded like a real live human being. Weird.

Indeed. He might actually be a human with a working brain. *shiver*

Blair: Because I think this is all part of the same thing. What does he think? He thinks if Lebanon turns out fine, if he gets a solution in Israel and Palestine, Iraq goes in the right way, he's done it. That's what this whole things about. It's the same with Iran.

This, of course, is the theory that the only reason Hamas and Hizbollah are still in business is that they're puppets of totalitarian regimes in the area using them to distract their own populace from their problems at home. If Hamas/the PLO/Hizbollah didn't exist, they'd have to invent them.
posted by dw at 10:59 AM on July 17, 2006


A room full of the world's leaders, discussing how to prevent World War IV is not an informal situation.

Did you watch the video? It was clearly informal. They may have been in a room full of world leaders, but it looked like bathroom-break banter to me.

I think Bush is full of shit, but I don't see anything wrong with this kind of informal conversation. It's probably the most productive kind of interaction. Though, in this instance, I agree that it seemed like Bush was not really listening.
posted by mullacc at 10:59 AM on July 17, 2006


George Bush chews with his mouth open. Ewwww. Guess money can not buy class no matter why 'they' say....
posted by eatdonuts at 11:04 AM on July 17, 2006


I think one of the funniest aspects is how Bush used profanity. Now, I'm not against profanity, but Bush believes in Church on Sunday, no alcohol, the Good Book, the Good Book, the Good Book, and some more of the Good Book. (He used it on camera before when he called a NYT reporter a "major league a-hole" (he used the full words).

So, he claims to be sort of an evangelical....I have friends who come from that tradition and they are simply very good people from what I know of them. I feel terrible using profanity in front of them or even saying "Oh my God!"

To think that much of his voting base sees this shining Christian example when they see Bush is sort of sad.....and makes me think he uses the Christian stuff for votes not because he truly believes Jesus has a good, empowering role in all our lives.
posted by skepticallypleased at 11:06 AM on July 17, 2006


The Republican party definitely uses the religious right cynically but Bush truly did change his poison—from alcohol to the opiate of the masses.
posted by Firas at 11:09 AM on July 17, 2006


It's the talking with the mouth open.

Oh, we can't have that, can we?
posted by crunchland at 11:14 AM on July 17, 2006


Were you eating when you typed that, crunch?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:15 AM on July 17, 2006


A room full of the world's leaders, discussing how to prevent World War IV is not an informal situation.

Did you watch the video? It was clearly informal. They may have been in a room full of world leaders, but it looked like bathroom-break banter to me.


When I am informally having lunch with my boss, I don't speak the same way as when I am informally watching a football game with my buddies. His casual speech in this setting suggests a lack of respect for who he's with.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:16 AM on July 17, 2006


I am staggered that anyone here seriously gives a shit about Bush saying the word 'shit'.

By sheer fluke G8 has popped up in the diary this week -- so you would have thought it should be a perfect opportunity for world leaders to come up with a strategy to cope with this extremely worrying situation...

Alas no. Instead this crucial situation is addressed with frivolous banter and schoolboy insight.

Don't worry about bad language, next time just vote for someone who can read.
posted by verisimilitude at 11:22 AM on July 17, 2006


OK, Britain's Prime Minister and the Leader of The Free World (TM) go to St. Petersburg (aka Leningrad) of all places, hosted by a former KGB agent, and they speak candidly in front of an uncamouflaged mike.

Pardon me if I laugh for a while...

Actually, to me this rather seems a diplomatic leak: what better way to say "Yo, Bashad (sic) mind your dog or either we or our Israeli mates are going to go and Bashad your head!" than actually, well, saying it? Informally, of course...
posted by Skeptic at 11:34 AM on July 17, 2006


I think he comes off better here than he does when trying to speak "like a world leader."

He certainly looks and sounds unstrained in his performance. I'm sure that's the real Bush there -- eating with his jaw hanging open, talking with his mouth full (even in a roomful of world leaders and cameras), spouting simplified solutions to world problems, and not being at all careful about diplomacy. In a sane world, he'd be coming home from his job, stopping at the bar to have a couple of brewskis, and talking like that with his fellow cab drivers. (Many of whom, from what I've heard, would best him in conversation.)

Does anyone here read lips? What was Blair saying just after he turned off the microphone?
posted by pracowity at 11:35 AM on July 17, 2006


Does anyone here read lips? What was Blair saying just after he turned off the microphone?

Good question. I can't read his lips, but he seems somewhat amused or self-conscious just there (he's smiling or smirking), leading me to suspect that it was a "D'oh!" remark about leaving the mic on.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:37 AM on July 17, 2006


What's this part mean? "Blair: Well it's only…or if she's gonna or if she needs the ground prepared as it were. See if she goes out, she's got to succeed as it were, where as I can just go out and talk."

I read that to mean that if Rice goes into the region and starts talking and trying to get a multi-party agreement, she has to succeed. Why? I'd guess that Blair is saying, for the sake of her credibility and future effectiveness, if she goes, she must succeed; whereas he could show up and just talk and it's OK if nothing actually happens. He appears to be recommending to Bush that he, Blair, go to the region and talk to people first, to prepare the way for Rice to go in and make deals.

Does this mean that Blair has little faith in Rice's ability to resolve this, and wants to go there first, to lay groundwork to make her job easier? (Or make sure she doesn't totally fuck it up?)

Or does it mean that Blair really thinks it's significantly important for Rice to succeed, and wants to help out? Either way, it definitely reveals a deference to Bush I didn't expect; whatever Blair's motivations, he's being very roundabout and diplomatic about suggesting a course of action, rather than just talking about it head on like I'd expect to hear. It must be maddening to be deferential to dunderheads like that. It also gives a direct glimpse into the tremendous power the president of the US has, no matter what one's opinions of him.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:41 AM on July 17, 2006


Either way, it definitely reveals a deference to Bush I didn't expect

Totally. Besides the content, look at the body language. Bush is hardly looking at him. Blair is leaning over, trying to get his attention.

Bush is a frat boy. But he's the alpha frat boy.
posted by frogan at 12:05 PM on July 17, 2006


Didn't his mother teach him that you don't talk with your mouth full? Must be some of that special pig he loves so much.

Crooks and Liars has the video too. I find it more convenient.
posted by homunculus at 12:06 PM on July 17, 2006


I took it to mean that Blair can go out there and risk being ignored by everyone without losing credibility because Britain isn't a great power. Whereas Condi would look foolish if a difficult client state ignored her.
posted by Mocata at 12:15 PM on July 17, 2006


Seems like a tempest in a teacup to me. It's not like we've learned anything new, here. Bush is a lout, and since he's the president of a country with a $12T GDP, he gets a lot of deference from other countries' leaders. And he talks with his mouth full.

And he throws in expletives when he thinks the mic isn't on.
posted by chimaera at 12:23 PM on July 17, 2006


Bushie Drops the “S” Bomb

Bush: Yo, Blair! How are you doing? Yesterday we didn't see much movement. I think Condi is going to go pretty soon.
Blair: No, no, it may be that it's not… it may be that it's impossible-
Bush: Yeah, I told that to... It's a process, I agree. I told her your offer to-
Blair: Well...it's only if, I mean... you know. If she's got a..., or if she needs the ground prepared as it were... Because obviously if she goes out, she's got to succeed, if it were, whereas I can go out and just…
Bush: Tell her to put them on the spot. Thanks for [inaudible] it's awfully thoughtful of you.
Blair: Are you planning to say that here or not?
Bush: If you want me to.
Blair: Well, it's just that if the discussion arises...
Bush: I just want some movement.
Blair: Yeah.
Bush: I am prepared to say it. I know you picked it out yourself.
Blair: Oh, absolutely, in fact [inaudible]. It's a pleasure.
Bush: I felt like telling Kofi to call.
Blair: What does he think? Because I think this is all part of the same thing.
I don't know what you guys have talked about, but as I say, I am perfectly happy to try and see what the lie of the land is… but you need that done quickly because otherwise it will spiral-
Bush: I just want some movement. Tell her to call 'em.
Blair: He is honey.
Bush: Yeah, yeah, he is sweet.
Bush: I just want some movement.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:25 PM on July 17, 2006


When I am informally having lunch with my boss, I don't speak the same way as when I am informally watching a football game with my buddies.

That's too bad, the best bosses I've had were those that I could speak with like that.
posted by mullacc at 12:27 PM on July 17, 2006


His casual speech in this setting suggests a lack of respect for who he's with

He's with Tony Blair, his supine lapdog. Why would he need to respect him?
posted by quarsan at 12:38 PM on July 17, 2006


Yeah the best places to work are where you don't have to tiptoe around and just say things like "Yeah the meeting was a total clusterfuck" instead of "The meeting did not go as well as planned." Which gives a better picture of what happened during the meeting?
posted by geoff. at 12:39 PM on July 17, 2006


I can't believe Bush's the disrespectful treatment of Blair, I'm ashamed as an American. "Yo, Blair"??? Can you imagine Ronald Reagan summoning the U.K. Prime Minister with "Yo, Thatcher"?

And Did anyone else catch him calling the prime minister of Lebanon "Bashad"? It's Bashir Assad, dummy. How would he feel if Tony Blair called him "Gush"?

I'm sort of hoping Blair goes over to Vladimir Putin and has this conversation:

Blair: Hey, Valdimir,
Putin: Hi, Tony. Did you talk to stupid?
Blair: Yeah. God what a dope.
Putin: What'd he say about Lebanon.
Blair: He's clueless. I just threw some compound sentences at him and he'll do whatever we want. He called Bashir "Bashad".
Putin: Bashad? Christ, what a dope. Back in KGB we'd shoot someone just for pretending to be that stupid. You know, I've been to that silly ranch of his like four times, and he still calls me "Putin." I don't think he knows my first name.
Blair: Oh God, I hate that place. What is with that smell. It's like leather and old feet. Hey, you know what? After he goes to bed, at like 9:30, let's call his room pretending to be Arafat, and that we want to negotiate a truce with Sharon.
Putin: But Arafat and Sharon are....
Blair: Vladimir, we're talking about George Bush here.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:54 PM on July 17, 2006 [5 favorites]


**I know it's Syria, not Lebanon, and now I'll just hide under my desk. I blame someone other than me.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:56 PM on July 17, 2006


gnfti just set a new standard for witty on MeFi. I applaud you, gnfti!
posted by five fresh fish at 12:57 PM on July 17, 2006


See the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over.

Can somebody explain what's ironic about that? I don't get it.
posted by gfrobe at 12:58 PM on July 17, 2006


Can somebody explain what's ironic about that? I don't get it.
posted by gfrobe at 3:58 PM EST on July 17 [+fave] [!]


It's ironic because we're all going to die.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:03 PM on July 17, 2006


Because the west getting Syria to do anything is as easy as the west getting Hezbollah to do anything.
posted by crunchland at 1:04 PM on July 17, 2006


Bush: I felt like telling Kofi to call.
Blair: What does he think? Because I think this is all part of the same thing.
I don't know what you guys have talked about, but as I say, I am perfectly happy to try and see what the lie of the land is… but you need that done quickly because otherwise it will spiral-
Bush: I just want some movement. Tell her to call 'em.
Blair: He is honey.
Bush: Yeah, yeah, he is sweet.
Bush: I just want some movement.


Is that "Tell Condi to call Kofi"? Kofi has a honeyed tongue, and is seen as the one who can negotiate opening a line of communication between [??] and Condi? Bush knows he can't cowboy these new mid-East problems (their six-shooters are loaded with nukes), and needs the preacher-man to help him settle differences through the use of words and promises?
posted by five fresh fish at 1:09 PM on July 17, 2006


From O'Reilly's take on the ME situation this weekend:

Clearly, ladies and gentlemen, Iran is the world's greatest threat. And right behind it are the terrorists who are not going to stop killing innocent people any time soon.

So what is the USA supposed to do? Well some Americans want retreat; some would allow Iran to do pretty much anything — Europe is in that category, so is the U.N., so is Russia and China. — Iran has lots of pals.


You could really just replace Iran with Iraq throughout his comments and it'd be like we stepped into a time machine! How convenient!
posted by NationalKato at 1:13 PM on July 17, 2006


Can somebody explain what's ironic about that? I don't get it.

The "irony" is that he doesn't want to do all this fancy footwork when in his mind Assad can just flip a switch.

You know, Blair knows his shit when it comes to this. He did Kosovo, he did Northern Ireland (both together with Clinton as a matter of fact), he knows what needs to be done here.

I'm not sure how involved Syria is in this. I'm sure Dubya wouldn't be spouting this "Syria, Syria" stuff if his advisors weren't telling him that they were involved at least to some extent. But he needs to take ownership of this problem. He's the President of the USA! Does he not feel any moral responsibility here?

I have a theory. Even during the Kosovo time, Blair was the 'hawk' so to speak on intervening. I think Blair actually feels the tragedy of conflict on his mind way more than Bush ever will. Israel doesn't want a ceasefire—it wants the ground rules to change (ie. hezbollah gone). The problem with Israel is that once they take territory they hang on like pitt bulls, or at least, that's at least part of what Hezbollah would expect them to do in Southern Lebanon. And actually—you know what—this whole 'punitive peace', 'collective punishment' shit doesn't work anyway, but I'm not here to rail against Israel's foreign policy, I think that's like shooting fish in a barrel. I'm pointing out that Bush is such an absolute failure of a leader, he doesn't feel the horror of war in his guts, he just looks at the world like a fucking chessboard the way his Vietnam-dodging neocon friends do. "Let's redraw some lines!"

So: in Kosovo, the Americans were holding back while the UK & France (perhaps other Europeans too?) wanted to intervene hell-for-leather. In this current problem, nobody wants to intervene, but the world community wants to stop the bleeding and the Americans are—again—holding back. Blair has always been the better leader when it comes to this peacemaking stuff.
posted by Firas at 1:15 PM on July 17, 2006


Uhhh... If you're trying to decipher my edit of the conversation, it's a bit more lowbrow than that, fff. If gnfti "just set a new standard for witty on MeFi," I went and lowered it again. Sorry.

I should have subtitled it "...Because Condi Can't."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:18 PM on July 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


Does he not feel any moral responsibility here?

heh.
posted by cell divide at 1:19 PM on July 17, 2006


MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND
Coming soon to a theatre near you.
posted by mischief at 1:22 PM on July 17, 2006


Whoops. My bad!
posted by five fresh fish at 1:23 PM on July 17, 2006


No - that was definitely my bad.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:25 PM on July 17, 2006


Huh. NPR just played the swearing cut uncensored. How much do you think the FCC fine is going to be?
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:35 PM on July 17, 2006


There is no greater irony than bleeping the putative leader of this pack of jackals who just bumped the per-offense fine to something greater than the annual operating budget for nearly every non-commercial radio station. It is something I've revelled in several times as a F-List Radio Personality.
posted by Fezboy! at 1:56 PM on July 17, 2006


"So I guess you could say, this barely qualifies as news. I'm Kent Brockman."
posted by rottytooth at 1:57 PM on July 17, 2006


But he needs to take ownership of this problem. He's the President of the USA! Does he not feel any moral responsibility here?

So americans, including the left, want to be the world's police now? Toss in the conspiracy theories upthread about the US and Israel not to mention these silly attacks on Bush's demeanor and the difference between this thread and right-wing talk radio is hard to spot.

I also love how the sentiment of having more "everyman" politicans who "talk straight" like McCain or Dean (both party hacks) is now, "Bush needs to be more stately and diplomatic."
posted by skallas at 2:45 PM on July 17, 2006


This is a lame news post. But for one thing. I am surprised most of you missed it. This underscores not how big an idiot is Bush, but rather it reflects to what degree we have become conditioned to the scripted sound bite moment.

Everybody is screaming b about why he isn't really responding to Israel's attack and (re) invasion of Lebanon. Jeebus. I'll tell you why — it's because nobody is there to tell him what to say. This attack was off the script. All those G8 guys went there for specific agenda items tied to narrow topics. They had pre-planned speeches. They were all fairly shocked by Israel's actions.

Now I AM sure of this. That Bush was ushered out of DC early - BEFORE the G8 Summit because his falling polls and surfacing scandals essentially forced his stammering ass to take a vacation away from domestic press. I SUSPECT that our intelligence knew Israel was also up to something big. I imagine Israel even told them that much. So getting Bush the fuck out of dodge is priority ONE for his staff. He does best in polls when he is not in the Whitehouse. This is a not so subtle admission by his own people that he is an idiot and fucks things up the more involved he becomes in day to day policy (hello - there is reason the ass is always on vacation).

Al that said they had no IDEA Israel was gonna go to the lengths it has to attack Hezbollah. And scares the shit out of all them. You can bet they were scrambling like hell to figure out how to handle this and absolutely NOT involve Bush until they hammered something out first.

BTW what all this IS about is Israel putting a foot down about the growing regional power of Iran. I promise you Iranian airliners will be getting shot down (they smuggle in arms to Hezbollah) and similar shit next.

That Bush, at a lunch was shooting the fat with other plutocrats is NOT a story. This IS what ALL these idiots do when they are caught off script.
posted by tkchrist at 2:46 PM on July 17, 2006


Blair: ....Hey, you know what? After he goes to bed, at like 9:30, let's call his room pretending to be Arafat, and that we want to negotiate a truce with Sharon.
Putin: But Arafat and Sharon are....
Blair: Vladimir, we're talking about George Bush here.


Cracked me up!
posted by ericb at 3:25 PM on July 17, 2006


It really does amaze me that he chews with his mouth open like that. The swearing I could care less about (although it is kind of fun in a "gotcha!" kind of way, coming from somebody passing himself off as a Good Christian) but the table manners. . .

No one should chew with his mouth open. No one should talk with food in his mouth. You know this. I know this. Children know this. Not that the best of us don't do it from time to time, but we know we're not supposed to, and hopefully, we make an effort not to do it. Certainly not at a state dinner. This wasn't some backyard barbeque; he's the President of the United States of America, sitting down with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The least he can do--not the least as President, but the least as a functioning adult--the very least he can do is to keep his fucking mouth closed when there's food in it so that Tony Blair doesn't have to look at it.
posted by EarBucket at 3:40 PM on July 17, 2006


.
posted by haikuku at 3:49 PM on July 17, 2006


Bush is a frat boy. But he's the alpha frat boy.

and the free world beams with pride.
posted by verisimilitude at 4:44 PM on July 17, 2006


Like how it's be interesting if Bush had just very publically threatened to reduce Russia to an "Iraqi style democracy," and responded to Putin's protests by saying "Just wait..." Yeah, real interesting. All of it.

To be honest, it's obvious from context he meant "Just wait, Iraq will turn out great!"

Well, at the risk of defending an LGF viewpoint, there is something to be said for statesmen sounding human as well as representative.

Which is exactly why he purposely left his mic on.

Indeed. He might actually be a human with a working brain. *shiver*

Bush is one of those people who are smart but sound dumb. There are a lot of them, look at Donald Trump, for example, or Jean Critean (former Canadian PM). People tend to underestimate those guys because they do sound stupid when they talk. Or it might be more accurate to say he's reasonably intelligent. He's good with relationships, making people like him, that sort of thing. He's obviously not smart enough to run a country well; the proof is in the results, not his speech.

As far as Blair acting 'submissive', well I would be pretty embarrassed and angry if I was a Brit right about now.
posted by delmoi at 5:03 PM on July 17, 2006


Dear Rest of the World,

I apologize yet again for this idiot we have as a president. I am deeply embarressed by his stupidity, shallowness and provincialism. Please do not judge us by him. We are working hard to get rid of him. May we all survive the next two years.
posted by trii at 6:20 PM on July 17, 2006


Newsweek: "Caught on Candid Camera -- What Bush's overheard remarks tell us about his views on Mideast diplomacy—and why he should be engaging Syria rather than criticizing it."
posted by ericb at 6:33 PM on July 17, 2006


As far as Blair acting 'submissive', well I would be pretty embarrassed and angry if I was a Brit right about now.

I wouldn't be embarrassed at all if I were a Brit, I think I'd mostly feel sympathy for my PM--have you never had an idiot boss whom you had to treat well and defer to, regardless of your feelings about him/her? Blair is acting the way he is because he wants results. That's what I was saying earlier in the thread, this is a very interesting glimpse into the interpersonal dynamics among these world leaders. Yes, Bush is obtuse and has limited, primary-color sensibilities about diplomacy, etc.; but he's still an extraordinarily powerful man, and could do a lot of [more] damage in the world if he reacts poorly to these new developments.

It appeared to me that Blair was trying to politely convince Bush of a certain course of action (likely because he's fearful of what Bush would decide without any outside counsel), but could not, because of the kind of man Bush is, and the office he holds, say so directly.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:00 PM on July 17, 2006


I didn't realize you could say "shit" on CNN. They've been replaying that clip over and over again, uncensored, including transcript. Weird.
posted by bob sarabia at 7:05 PM on July 17, 2006


Am I the only one that read the FPP as George & Tony Snow?
posted by gyc at 7:27 PM on July 17, 2006


Well, if the FCC fines CNN, the government would be admitting that the president is obscene.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:41 PM on July 17, 2006


I didn't realize you could say "shit" on CNN. They've been replaying that clip over and over again, uncensored, including transcript. Weird.

CNN is a cable, not broadcast, station. Hence, the reason that they and other cable stations and their programs (such as HBO's 'Deadwood' and Comedy Central's 'South Park') are not subject to FCC decency rules. Although, some would like to change that: Senator Bids to Extend Indecency Rules to Cable.
posted by ericb at 7:56 PM on July 17, 2006


Long live George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words: shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits !
posted by ericb at 7:58 PM on July 17, 2006


Senator Bids to Extend Indecency Rules to Cable.

BTW -- this is the same senator (Sen. Ted Stevens / R-Alaska) who recognizes that the Internet is "not a truck," but a "series of tubes."
posted by ericb at 8:12 PM on July 17, 2006


Can't believe nobody's seeing this from the UK end.

The Prime Minister arse-kisses to someone whocan't string a sentence together, asking his permission to fly over and play diplomat.

The response: I think Condi's going.

(Translation: No, doggie. Sit, stay.)

The humiliating poodle routine is what's on the front page of every UK paper this morning. I figure this is a rather less interesting story if you're in the US.
posted by genghis at 4:07 AM on July 18, 2006


Sort of reminds me of this genius.
posted by urthwalker at 6:09 AM on July 18, 2006


Can't believe nobody's seeing this from the UK end.

Just came across this: British Paper: Bush And Blair's Overheard Conversation "Did Little To Help The Popular Conception...That [Blair] Is Mr. Bush's Poodle"...
posted by ericb at 9:57 AM on July 18, 2006


skallas:

So americans, including the left, want to be the world's police now?

I don't understand this question. Is a couple weeks out of the appointment book of a US envoy more valuable than hundreds of Israeli, Lebanese and Palestinian lives?

I also love how the sentiment of having more "everyman" politicans who "talk straight" like McCain or Dean (both party hacks) is now, "Bush needs to be more stately and diplomatic."

No, the people who wanted Bush to be more stately and diplomatic today always wanted him to be more stately and diplomatic. I'm sure that Dean and McCain would be more stately and diplomatic when trying to get the ME to stop burning.

the difference between this thread and right-wing talk radio is hard to spot.

Liberals everywhere need to stop bringing knives to gunfights, or 'these people' (GOP, Hamas, Hezbollah, Likud, Kadima, etc.) will be running the show for a long time to come.

I don't really follow your comments or know what your political standpoint is, but if you're going to be content with sitting on the sidelines and equivocating among reason and madness, at least don't use what's left of your vitality in sniping at those of us who still have a pulse in our veins.
posted by Firas at 10:43 AM on July 18, 2006


Meanwhile, Alberto Gonzales admited that it was George Bush himself who gave the order to kill the internal DoJ probe into the NSA domestic spying.
posted by homunculus at 1:04 PM on July 18, 2006


Tim Noah says the "he" is Assad.
posted by Firas at 4:09 PM on July 19, 2006


Late to the party, but I found this astounding:
(skallas)So americans, including the left, want to be the world's police now?

(Firas)I don't understand this question. Is a couple weeks out of the appointment book of a US envoy more valuable than hundreds of Israeli, Lebanese and Palestinian lives?


Firas - I don't understand what you're saying. You mean that some random US envoy just needs to go visit the middle east for a couple weeks and the whole thousands of years of people hating each other and fighting for the same piece of shit city because of all their stupid religions and shooting kids because their brother got shot and so on, will all stop?

Well, for fuck's sake, what have you almighty US envoys been doing for the last few hundred years?
posted by jacalata at 4:48 AM on July 23, 2006


jacalata, this "all or nothing" thinking is really the problem. Although I do think that—with sufficiently sensible leaders—American pressure can help produce peace in the I/P region (there are a whole host of ceasefires between Israel and Arab countries that wouldn't have been produced without American carrots and sticks), US envoys can definitely stop conflicts from escalating. Are you really contesting that notion? That the difference between a skirmish and an invasion in the Mideast can't be affected by American pressure? Obviously it's not the envoy per se that changes things, it's what the President says to Israel &c.
posted by Firas at 1:31 PM on July 24, 2006


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