“’The White House rang Thursday evening,’” said Irish embassy spokeswoman Síghle Dougherty. ‘They were concerned over the number of interruptions and that they thought the president was not given an opportunity to respond to the questions.’”
Said Dougherty: “They were mostly troubled by what they said was the way the president was ‘talked over.’ “
I’d imagine that most regular blog readers are aware of this interview. (Here’s the transcript; here’s the video, starting around 15:00.) You can judge for yourself about whether Bush was given the opportunity to respond to questions.
She asked tough questions about the mounting death toll in Iraq, the failure of U.S. planning, and European opposition to the invasion and occupation. And when the president offered the sort of empty and listless “answers” that satisfy the White House press corps – at one point, he mumbled, “My job is to do my job” – she tried to get him focused by asking precise follow-up questions.
The president complained five times during the course of the interview about the pointed nature of Coleman’s questions and follow-ups – “Please, please, please, for a minute, OK?” the hapless Bush pleaded at one point, as he demanded his questioner go easy on him.
A few questions:
1. What the hell is the Irish embassy supposed to do about it?
2. Why would the White House decide that the benefits of this action possibly outweigh the negatives involved in keeping the story alive?
3. … unless this supposed to be a warning shot at the American press,letting them know that the President is not to be the subject of serious interviews?
4. Will the press be so cowardly as to play along?
There’s this sense of how dare you question them. And that is the thing that I almost find more appalling than the decisions that they make. Because I can accept incompetence, but I cannot accept self-righteous incompetence.
ANOTHER UPDATE: One of my betters has more on this. Thanks to antirealist.