The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, July 21, 2006

Bush heckled during NAACP speech

The photo of Bush's reaction can just be added to the file. As with, most recently, his barely-concealed rage at the reporter who wore sunglasses while asking a question in a Rose Garden press conference, Bush adopts that smarmy look that says "I can't believe someone as great as I am has to put up with such stupidity." It reminds me of those stories about G-Dub flipping his wig whenever a staffer has to share bad news. The guy's living in a dangerous fantasy world in which he's a competent and wise leader.


Toward the end of his remarks, two protesters interrupted the president, shouting inquiries about Vice President Dick Cheney and the situation in the Middle East.

"Stop being a Stepin Fetchit for Dick Cheney!" one shouted in a reference to a black actor known for stereotypical portrayals of black minstrel characters.

Bond approached the microphone, but Bush told him not to bother trying to quell the disturbance. "Don't worry," Bush told Bond. "I'm almost done."

"I know you can handle it," Bond replied.

He handled it, all right, the only way he knows how. By 'staying the course' and reading the speech someone wrote for him. Sad.

UPDATE: The official White House site sanitized the transcript of the event by excising the heckling (and the exchange cited above) and presenting the ironic and intense acknowledgment Bush received for saying "many African Americans distrust my political party" as some sort of agreement with him that it was an unjustified shame. Sadder.

UPDATE 2: Media Matters spotted a Washington Post account of the speech that misrepresents the NAACP audience's Applause-O-Meter. It's a little bit technical and wonky 'n stuff, but what it boils down to is a report that emphasizes applause that rates a 3.5 or so over applause that rates a 4.7. Or so. The bottom line is this: journalistic laziness gives us yet another story benefits America's right wing. No, it isn't a huge deal in and of itself. It's just another example in an endless stream of exhibits-- the subtle distortion of a very simple, observable, demonstrable truth in a minor way that critically alters the story.