Sunday, December 14, 2008

Giving Bush the Boot

Below is Reuter's News Service video of the Iraqi reporter who gave Bush the boot today. You'll notice that Reuters got only half the story, as you might say. To compensate, they show the first flying shoe twice -- the second time in slo-mo.

By contrast, the AP has both feet on the ground:

Do you think this story has legs?

Dept. of Amplification
12-14 pm
The more you watch the videos, the more puzzling it is that the Iraqi journalist could get as close to Bush as he did and pelt him with heavy objects. It's not like it wasn't foreseeable.

We are reminded of the incident in mid-May, 1958 when then-vice president Richard Nixon was pelted with eggs and rocks during a parade through Caracas, Venezuela. Then, the angry crowd almost overturned his limousine and grabbed both Nixon and his wife.

As one news account of the time described it --
Vice-President Richard Nixon narrowly escaped serious injury at the hands of a howling mob here Tuesday shortly after he landed in Caracas to wind up his goodwill tour of South America. The vice president was the target for spit, debris, eggs and rocks and he was showered with glass when practically all the windows in his limousine were smashed by the screeching horde which tried to break into the car to drag him out and when that failed, to overturn it. Mrs. Nixon also was pelted with spit and debris.
At the time Venezuelans were mad because the U.S. was threatening to control exports of their oil and propping up a corrupt Venezuelan regime. Fifty years later, we are threatening to control Iraqi oil and propping up a corrupt Iraqi regime that was recently ranked worse than Somalia.

Dept. of Sports Commentary
12-14 pm
The Voice of quotes an anonymous source as saying, "Nobody wants to see President Bush being missed by a flying shoe like this." Read more: "Analysis: How Did He Miss?"

Dept. of Further Amplification
12-14 pm
The New York Times has the most detailed exposition we've come across describing what the Iraqi TV journalist said as he was throwing his shoes:
First shoe: “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog.”

Second shoe: “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.”
Dept. of Eyewitness Accounts
12-15 am

Adam Ashton of California's Modesto Bee was an eyewitness to the show-throwing:
As it ended, a couple Iraqi security guards in suits took away two more Iraqi journalists because one of them called Zaidi's protest "courageous." * * *Many of the broadcast reporters feared the Iraqi government would take their cameras and tapes. They expect that things will be tougher for them next time they cover one of Maliki's events.

"This will have consequences for us," one reporter told us.

Exporting democracy and freedom to Iraq. Mission un-accomplished.

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