Carole Coleman on Her Interview with Bush

I’m sure most of us in the Bush-hater community remember the interview that Irish reporter Carole Coleman did with Bush last year. Well, now she’s publishing a book, and an excerpt from it gives more details about the circumstances surrounding the interview: Ireland: I wanted to slap him.

I find myself forgetting how petty the current occupants of the White House are, how much their sense of their mission is limited to “maintaining the illusion that George Bush is qualified to be president,” and then I read something like this.

22 Responses to “Carole Coleman on Her Interview with Bush”

  1. TeacherVet Says:

    George Bush seems to meet all the criteria mandated in the U.S. Constitution, including the most important one – election by majority vote, so…which qualifications have not been met?

    Is it his intellectual deficiencies? The same ones that have been charged of every Republican candidate since Eisenhower?

    A great man once said that “one-fifth of the people are against everything all the time,” and I think his statement is appropriate today.

  2. adam_blust Says:

    I think “being able to form a coherent thought, in both speech and writing” is a pretty low bar for The Leader of the Free World. But that’s just me.

    Anyway, Brownie, Albaugh, Miers, Myers and the rest have continued to prove that “qualification” is a meaningless word these days. Ann Coulter and Bill Kristol would enthusiastically back the nomination of a four-slice toaster to the Supreme Court, as long as they were sure it would vote conservative.

  3. TeacherVet Says:

    That is the same general “criticism” that has been made of every Republican candidate for about 50 years. Perhaps even much longer, since Lincoln’s wife expressed amazement and disappointment when his intelligence was demeaned during the Civil War. It lost all meaning several decades ago, and has become laughable today. Those stupid, incoherent people keep beating those Democrats with the self-professed super intelligence at the ballot box. The “ignorance” message doesn’t seem to work well, but, being unable/unwilling to examine/analyze the causes of failure, let’s scream the same old charges at a greater volume level. Great plan.

    In order to change the pattern, Democrats somehow need to convince voters that it would be wise to vote hateful, resentful people – who offer no alternative solutions – into positions of power. Good luck.

  4. Rise Against Says:

    TeacerVet I think you have forgotton that GWB didn’t actually meet that most important qualification. He was not elected by the majority vote in 2000. He was chosen by a court.

  5. TeacherVet Says:

    Of course, you’re correct. After Gore went to the renegade Florida Supreme Court, Bush responded by going to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    If the Florida Supremes had gotten their way, allowing votes to be counted in whatever haphazard manner would serve the goal of giving Gore the Florida electoral votes (in direct violation of the Florida Constitution), would you have complained that Gore was “chosen” by a court?

    I strongly suspect that the genesis of most of today’s hatred is based on the forced cessation of the Florida recount charade, but that was not the only variable affecting the result in that state. I think you have forgotten that the result was announced in Gore’s favor well before the closing of the polls in the Florida Panhandle, while thousands of voters were headed for the polls. Many of the voters in that Republican stronghold simply turned for home before reaching the voting booths, having heard that their vote would have no consequence.

    Thanks to Mr. Rather, et al, we’ll never know the degree to which that devious announcement affected the vote total – but it was surely enough to throw the Florida results into question. Ah, the power of the unbiased media.

  6. ethan-p Says:

    Hey again, TeacherVet. Rather than revisiting the 2000 election again (a favorite topic for extremists on both ends of the spectrum), and forgetting about your repeated moaning about criticism that Bush is stupid, let’s look at a few other issues first, then I’ll get back to the left-wing rhetoric.

    Bush is a fiscal liberal . Look at his spending (remember the farm bill he passed early on in his presidency?). Check this out. How about the fact that he and his administration mismanaged the war in Iraq, and failed to even consider the possibility of an insurgency? How about the fact that (in the best case scenario), he relied on faulty intelligence as a pretext to war, and then changed his tune the instant that intelligence appeared to be faulty…all without a shred of accountability? In a worse scenario, he lied and fabricated facts around his policy.

    He has also been accused of cronyism, especially in the wake of hurricane Katrina. The failures of the federal government, and the ineptitude of then FEMA director Michael Brown have been tied directly to the Bush administration’s reckless appointments. In thise case, due to critical appointments being based not on any merit of qualification beyond personal and political loyalty to the president.

    These alone are sufficient (in my mind) to raise questions of his fitness for the office of the president.

    As far as the claims of stupidity that you so resent, I can’t think of any other way to describe his support of teaching “intelligent design” in science classrooms. (Remember, we’ve been over this…it can be construed as philosophy or religion, but is decidedly not science in any way, shape, or form.) In any case, if we’re going to dumb down our schools, I support teaching other views along with the ideal of ID.

    In any case, the idea of Bush (and republicans at large) being dumb has always been a rallying cry for the left. It works to rally extremists in the same way that Pat Robertson’s rantings rally the far right. Both are extremely effective in mobilizing their niche of voters. They’re not meant for anyone else, and you will never hear those tactics uttered in a national campaign. You are correct in saying that these tactics will never appeal to a larger national audience. However, the cirticism I outlined above (which is the tip of the iceberg) is more than enough to engage centrists, who tend to make the difference in any election.

  7. ymatt Says:

    Um, returning to the actual article in question, doesn’t this bother even you, TeacherVet? I don’t know how you can read that article, even if you disagree with the criticisms levelled by Carole, and not come away feeling like Bush is incredibly insecure and insulated from the world he’s changing, for better or worse. I mean the whole thing of trying to bribe her into submission with the promise of another interview, then complaining to the Irish embassy … doesn’t that kind of media manipulation make you shiver?

  8. ethan-p Says:

    Ymatt, am I just cynical, or isn’t everything political like that? While I’m sure that the Bush administration has stepped up their spin control beyond other administrations, things like asking to see questions first, and promising follow-up interviews in exchange for an easy interview is nothing new. That’s all inherent to modern politics.

  9. jbc Says:

    Yeah, for me the big shocker isn’t that they _do_ this. It’s the sense I get that this is pretty much _all_ they do.

  10. ymatt Says:

    Eh, you might be right. But Bush seems to rely so completely on it. I mean clearly he took it very personally that he didn’t completely control the interview, which aligns perfectly with his unwillingness to give press conferences etc. And I think the heightened degree of the spin control is critical here. In order for them to go so far as *complain to the embassy*, this is clearly a cornerstone of how they operate. It’s fundamental to their strategy. That’s what scares me. A free press is an integral part of the American system and Bush wants to lock it out.

  11. TeacherVet Says:

    Hey, ethan-p. Actually, I’ve not moaned about the silly claims of stupidity. As I said, it has become laughable via mindless repetition, and I do find it quite funny that those dumb guys so frequently outwit the great minds on the left.

    Almost all of the “serious” criticisms have been based on personal interpretation. I certainly don’t agree with all actions of GWB. I’m disappointed in the liberal fiscal policies, or at least the ones that cannot be linked to 9/11 and the government expansion that became necessary in the aftermath of that day’s events. The farm bill is an appropriate criticism, although I admit that I’ve forgotten some of the details.

    As a teacher, I abhor NCLB. It is ineffective, inappropriate, and a general waste of tax-payer money – but I can’t lay all the blame on GWB. I disagree totally with his border policy, or lack of same, but none of the leaders in either party have outlined or introduced a bill with a strict, effective policy.

    On “mismanagement” of the Iraq War, I totally disagree on all points. I could agree only if we were able to control the mindset and actions of the enemy, but that is impossible in any conflict. I complained strongly when GHWB failed to finish the job a decade earlier.

    Reliance on faulty intelligence? Plainly and simply, I don’t believe that he relied on faulty intelligence. The same, and other, intelligence sources convinced nations throughout the world that Saddam had WMD, or capabilities to develop them – including those “friendly” nations who refused to help in the enforcement of the 17th UN resolution. Bill Clinton avowed that Saddam had WMD right up to the day of his removal. Leaders on both sides of the aisle proclaimed Saddam’s possession of WMD, and his threatening stance toward the U.S., throughout the late 1990s – and I don’t believe their assessments were based on faulty intel. I am quite satisfied that Saddam is no longer in a position to threaten anyone, and I’m pleased that today he has no WMD. He lied? That’s also become laughable with incessant repetition. He believed, and he acted.

    Mismanagement of the war? Military leaders manage wars, and presidents must rely on the assessments of situations by those leaders who are in the trenches. Tommy Franks has consistently claimed responsibility for all Iraq war-related misjudgements, even including the overly criticized “Mission Accomplished” sign. Off the main topic, I know, but that ship’s crew had been assigned a mission, and it had been accomplished. If the sign had been draped across the White House, the criticism would have been valid.

    Cronyism? Yes, and I don’t like it. Some of his appointments have proven quite unwise, including the FEMA directorship. The same is true of his latest nomination for the highest court. Miers, or whatever her name is, may turn out to be everything I could hope for, but “may” is the key word in my hesitancy to support her. I’m one of those who was hoping he would nominate a proven conservative, and eagerly anticipating a nasty fight over a truly controversial conservative appointment. I believe he missed a great opportunity.

    His response to Katrina was not faulty, even in the least. I don’t want to get into a lengthy discussion on the topic, but the federal government was about fifth in the line of responsibility. As with so many other situations, blame was cast recklessly, and only to futher political agendas. You’re right, though, that it will be used against him in his next run for president.

    ymatt, I agree, and disagree. Bush has consistently demonstrated his personal security. He is willing to make tough decisions, then stick to his guns and act on them, even in the face of screaming indignation and resolute objections.

    As for being insulated, that has been true of every president in my memory. I spent four years in the company of Johnson and Nixon. I was personally repulsed by both men, but that’s another story. The “terms” of granting a presidential interview with an aggressive, biased reporter have always been strictly controlled. I can attest that such “media manipulation” has been the standard for presidential interviews at least as far back as Johnson and Nixon. Do you believe that Carter, Reagan, Ford, GHWB, or Clinton granted every requested interview with known hateful, agenda-driven reporters?

    Carole Coleman, in the article, states that he was probably unaware of her aggressive interview style, thereby admittedly that her interview probably needed to be tempered and controlled, even through manipulation. She wanted “different” answers than the ones given in the past, but her questions were merely repetition of the same-o same-o. Her difficulties arose from the obvious fact that he was aware of her bias and style. His other option? Refuse the interview – but his level of security and resoluteness prevailed. One of my associates constantly boasts of her proficiency in being a bitch, and Coleman appears to be of the same ilk. Of course she hates Bush – she’s in good company, and wants to please her employer and her readers.

    There are plenty of valid criticisms that could be used to sway some centrists, but there is no concentration on those issues. Instead, the focus remains on petty, insignificant, often faulty personal preferences and interpretations. I don’t think a sufficient number of those centrists are impressed by the tactics.

  12. Rise Against Says:

    Yeah, well I don’t think a significant number of centrists are impressed with 2,000 dead American soldiers. Or 100,000 dead iraqis. Or with the skyrocketing poverty level. Or with the economy. Or with the world being more dangerous.

    But ya, back to the original piont of this thread, I find it extremely scary but not at all surprising thats how this white house deals with the media.

    It was a great moment for Bush haters though. That wasn’t no FOX news interview, thats for sure.

  13. adam_blust Says:


    Just because Bush wins elections doesn’t mean he’s not stupid (or venal or craven or mendacious, for that matter). But thanks for the analysis. Lincoln was a nice touch.

  14. Rise Against Says:

    Yeah, he wins elections because his party uses dirty, cheap tricks, to supress democratic voters. That’s been well documented. (Phone jamming, understaffed voting booths in black communities etc..)

  15. TeacherVet Says:

    RA, where do you get your information? Are you inferring that Republicans are in a position to control those voting sites? Is there a precinct in a black community, anywhere in the nation, that is not organized, managed and manned by Democrats?

    Who orders the voting machines, decides which kind to purchase, secures personnel to staff the voting site, etc., in each voting district? I know the answer from personal experience – the majority party in each voting district makes those decisions. The charge is irresponsible.

    Shall we get into the issue of which districts/states are most commonly associated with votes cast by deceased people, ballot stuffing, etc. The dirty deeds are certainly not confined to “his party,” and there is no credible evidence that those evil Republican henchmen are out there suppressing Democrat voters.

  16. adam_blust Says:


    Two words: Katherine Harris.

    I always wondered why the campaign manager in a state was also allowed to count the votes, but again, that’s just me.

  17. Rise Against Says:

    Some people have very short memories.

  18. ethan-p Says:

    The dirty deeds are certainly not confined to “his party,”

    Teachervet, it’s interesting that you use the term “dirty deeds”. There is only one party which used the term (and is recorded to have engaged in) what they called “dirty tricks”. Surely you remember these.

    I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, and I find both major parties pretty objectionable…but I do find it slightly dubious that as a younger man, Karl Rove was linked to providing training in dirty tricks in the Nixon years.

    I would not be entirely surpised if a resurgence in CREEP-like activity were discovered. History has a tendancy to repeat itself. Perhaps I’m just cynical about our government.

    As far as your asking Rise Against where he gets his information…I’m sure that JAYSON can tell you all about Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell.


  19. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Well, heres the thing. If I point out that there is a quite a bit of evidence showing that Ken Blackwell and the Republican party members tampered with the vote in my state then TeacherVet will likely point out that it was correlated (correlated, mind you) by a Democratic commitee and is therefore completely null and void because the Democratic Party is hateful and the Republicans would never do such a thing as it is not in their character.

    In terms of ordering the voting machines, deciding what kind to purchase, assigning personel, etc. was controlled at the state level, at least in Ohio. And that there were a number of dirty tricks in this state’s presidential election that are directly attributible to Ken Blackwell and/or Republican Party member interference.

    Like I said though, this was compiled by Democrats, who are evil and cannot be trusted, therefore we can’t really admit this as evidence of dirty tricks.

  20. Rise Against Says:

    Yes, because as we have seen over the past few years it’s the Democratic Party that lies to the people. Yeah.

  21. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Well, ultimately my point with the scarcasm is that the partisan politics that nearly everyone practices often get in the way of our ability to examine information from a particular source. If it comes from ‘our’ side then it must be true, if it comes from ‘their’ side its clearly false. This is what makes all these arguements degenerate during the course of these post. I would never ever actually make the statement that one party is completely honest while the other is completely dishonest.

  22. Rise Against Says:

    Oh I totally agree Jayson. I picked up your sarcasm.

    And that is the problem, if “our side” said it, its true…” and its doing a diservice to everyone.

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