Monday, November 22, 2004

Melee in Chile: Bush 1 World 0

Spats Over Security Roil Summit in Chile (
Then Bush either realized he was missing something, or he heard the commotion. The president, who is rarely alone, even in his own house, turned and walked back to the front door unaccompanied, facing the backs of a sea of dark suits. Bush, with his right hand, reached over the suits and pointed insistently at Trotta. At first the officials, with their backs to him and their heads in the rumble, did not realize it was the president intervening. Bush then braced himself against someone and lunged to retrieve the agent, who was still arguing with the Chileans. The shocked Chilean officials then released Trotta.

Trotta walked in behind Bush, who looked enormously pleased with himself. He was wearing the expression that some critics call a smirk, and his eyebrows shot up as if to wink at bystanders.

You know Bush has won big when even I have to give him points. If the Chilean agents had unwittingly socked him things might have gotten even uglier, but I can't imagine him going anywhere without his security team. If he were still up to reelection I'd grumble that he'd staged the entire thing.

Political points aside, there's a substantially bad undercurrent:
...CNN's Mark Walz had his camera trained on Bush when a thundering herd of Asian reporters hit him in his blind spot. Walz, who has covered the White House since the last year of the Reagan administration, said it was the first time he had been knocked down. The cameraman landed on his feet and kept shooting, with an Asian reporter wedged under his right bicep.

Walz's colleagues commended him, both for keeping the camera on Bush and for not making a jerk of himself in front of the president. "I didn't want to embarrass myself or the American press by kicking it up a notch," he said.

In the hall afterward, a couple of pairs of journalists went at each other like a locker-room fight.
Bush has indeed united the world. Even our allies hate us now.

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