Ribbing

Ribbing
: Tim Porter sends us to the official transcript of a wonderful exchange between Bush and reporters at the Nothin’ Fancy Cafe in Roswell (insert alien stonewalling joke here). I thought that Bush was pretty much humorless. Not so:

THE PRESIDENT: I need some ribs.

Q Mr. President, how are you?

THE PRESIDENT: I’m hungry and I’m going to order some ribs.

Q What would you like?

THE PRESIDENT: Whatever you think I’d like.

Q Sir, on homeland security, critics would say you simply haven’t spent enough to keep the country secure.

THE PRESIDENT: My job is to secure the homeland and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. But I’m here to take somebody’s order. That would be you, Stretch — what would you like? Put some of your high-priced money right here to try to help the local economy. You get paid a lot of money, you ought to be buying some food here. It’s part of how the economy grows. You’ve got plenty of money in your pocket, and when you spend it, it drives the economy forward. So what would you like to eat?

Q Right behind you, whatever you order.

THE PRESIDENT: I’m ordering ribs. David, do you need a rib?

Q But Mr. President —

THE PRESIDENT: Stretch, thank you, this is not a press conference. This is my chance to help this lady put some money in her pocket. Let me explain how the economy works. When you spend money to buy food it helps this lady’s business. It makes it more likely somebody is going to find work. So instead of asking questions, answer mine: are you going to buy some food?

Q Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, good. What would you like?

Q Ribs.

THE PRESIDENT: Ribs? Good. Let’s order up some ribs.

Q What do you think of the democratic field, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: See, his job is to ask questions, he thinks my job is to answer every question he asks. I’m here to help this restaurant by buying some food. Terry, would you like something?

Q An answer.

Q Can we buy some questions?

THE PRESIDENT: Obviously these people — they make a lot of money and they’re not going to spend much. I’m not saying they’re overpaid, they’re just not spending any money.

  • Charlie

    Okay, Jeff, I give up: why did you think Bush was humorless? His sense of humor is a little dry, I’ll grant, but it’s plays really well out here in the Wild West.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Maybe it’s that he never loses the grin and so when everything is funny, nothing is funny. That’s East Coast existential irony, for you.

  • syn

    I like that Bush exposing the reality that most journalists have become money-grubbing, fame-seeking elitist snobs.

  • http://www.modempool.com/nucleardann/blogspace/blog.htm Dann

    Charlie-
    Perhaps for reasons similar to those that lead so many into believing that Mr. Bush is stupid?
    The media line on Mr. Bush is that he is stupid, talentless, and a stuffy ‘religious’ sort of person. Some accuse conservatives (and to a lesser extent Libertarians) of living in an echo chamber; hearing only themselves saying what they want to hear.
    The media seem to be more echo chamber bound to me. Listening to this year’s election coverage, it is plain that the big league media believe that the default condition for American governance is to have Democrats (and similarly minded people) in power. The GOP just isn’t supposed to be in such a position. You can hear it in the adverbs and adjectives they use to describe one party over another.
    -Regards

  • old maltese

    For anyone’s interest, the ‘David’ is NBC’s David Gregory. He probably is the ‘Stretch’ too.
    I’m not sure about ‘Terry’ — might be Terry Moran.

  • rivlax

    The biggest service Bush did here was to give these head-up-their-asses reporters a lesson in Econ 101, which they never took in school because that course was just for money-grubbing capitalists and morally superior journalists who want “to change the world” (i.e., move toward socialism) could not be caught dead reading Adam Smith.

  • hen

    hell i’d vote for Bush just for the way he treats the elitest press. i’d campaign for him if he ever tripped Helen the hag Thomas.

  • Matt

    Good grief, Jeff, where’ve you been? This transcript has been bouncing around the blogosphere for weeks!
    And up above, you have a post about the timeliness of the Super Bowl halftime coverage by blogs. Ironic.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Matt: Busted. I had not seen it before. Fishwrap, I’m just fishwrap.

  • Doctor Slack

    Funny thing… I was wondering why the White House had this exchange up on their site, since to a lot of people it displays the President acting like an immature ass. But of course, there’s a part of The Base that eats this stuff up.
    Hint to Dann: stuff like this is where the “Bush is a moron” impression generally comes from. If it was meant to be a joke, the joke ain’t necessarily on the reporters.

  • hen

    hey Doc while it’s true that us repugs are intellectually inferior to the enlightened few that call themselves liberal, when it comes to those that are the general public (you know us trailer park, white trash, fast food eating masses) very few professions are held in lower esteem then “journalists”.
    Bush understands that; you, apparently, don’t. who’s the moron?

  • http://www.joannejacobs.com Joanne Jacobs

    Bush is very good at kidding around with reporters and connecting with people of all sorts in face-to-face situations. Remember the campaign movie shot by Nancy Pelosi’s daughter? He came out looking funny and human. I think Bush got much better coverage in the last campaign because reporters liked him on a personal level and disliked Gore, the ex-reporter. This time, it’s clear that reporters really dislike John Kerry as a person.

  • Doctor Slack

    hey Doc while it’s true that us repugs are intellectually inferior to the enlightened few that call themselves liberal
    Translation: “I have a severe intellectual inferiority complex about ‘liberals’…”
    when it comes to those that are the general public (you know us trailer park, white trash, fast food eating masses)
    Translation: “… and by ‘liberals’ I mean the rich Black Jewish lesbian feminist Hollywood communist terrorist Muslim Transnational Progressivist humanities professors at Manhattan cocktail parties.”
    very few professions are held in lower esteem then “journalists”.
    … except when they work at Fox and tell you what you want to hear. Yes, hen, none of that is a surprise.
    Of course, the folks at MWO would agree with your general opinion about journalists, and that must make their opinion reliable. Or not…

  • Doctor Slack

    I think Bush got much better coverage in the last campaign because reporters liked him on a personal level and disliked Gore
    That much is true of some — that, and many of them are so thoroughly intimidated by the GOP that the “liberal media” canard is laughable at best. Combine that with a “cool kids” herd mentality and you’re certainly going to be looking at an attempting “Gore-ing” of Kerry if he wins the nomination.

  • Jeff B.

    Jeff: Anyone who thinks Bush is humorless missed him at his press conference in (I believe it was) in March or April of 2003. He shot off what I still think is one of the most surprisingly sarcastic (and witty) lines I’ve seen a president use in public in recent memory. Some British reporter asks him, “President Bush, you are of course aware that many European nations consider the Coalition invasion and occupation of sovereign Iraq to be a violation of international law, are you not?” Bush’s one-line response: “Well gee then, I guess I’d better call my lawyer.”
    And then he just moved on to the next question. Priceless.

  • Doctor Slack

    Anyone who thinks Bush is humorless missed him at his press conference in (I believe it was) in March or April of 2003.
    Heck, he was proving his gift for comedy long before that. Who could forget that classic moment in American comedy, the trifecta joke:
    “The recession — no question, I remember when I was campaigning, I said, would you ever deficit spend? And I said, yes, only if there were a time of war, or recession, or a national emergency. . . Never did I dream we’d have the trifecta. (Laughter.) ”
    Man, he cracks me up.

  • http://www.modempool.com/nucleardann/blogspace/blog.htm Dann

    Dr. Slack-
    stuff like this is where the “Bush is a moron” impression generally comes from. If it was meant to be a joke, the joke ain’t necessarily on the reporters.
    ‘Splain this Lucy. How is it moronic to remind reporters that every moment is not a press conference? How is it moronic to remind folks about the basic mechanics of a growing economy?
    Without knowing the context of the exchange, it is hard to offer any other comment on it, unless one chooses to read more into it than provided quotes.
    Translation: “… and by ‘liberals’ I mean the rich Black Jewish lesbian feminist Hollywood communist terrorist Muslim Transnational Progressivist humanities professors at Manhattan cocktail parties.”
    Methinks your translator is borken. The funny thing is that I’ve seen the anti-white-fast food eating-trailer-trash sort of thing come out of the media in the past. They call the Midwest ‘flyover country’ for a reason. But I’ve never seen much evidence of anyone lumping so many groups together as you did. Perhaps you’ve exaggerated just a bit? Especially given the evidence of non-liberal black, Jewish, lesbian, feminist, Hollywood, Muslim, and/or humanities professors that do not conform to the modern image of ‘liberalism’.
    -Regards

  • Doctor Slack

    How is it moronic to remind reporters that every moment is not a press conference?
    How is it moronic to talk to the press in a way that’s likely to make you look immature and un-Prsidential to anyone outside a small, restricted base? Tell you what, put your thinking cap on and have a run at that question tomorrow. I’m sure you’ll think of something.
    How is it moronic to remind folks about the basic mechanics of a growing economy?
    Good lord. Do you really think “buy stuff” is all there is to the basic mechanics of a growing economy? Dude, that was a bad joke coming from GW, please don’t tell me you’re taking it seriously
    But I’ve never seen much evidence of anyone lumping so many groups together as you did.
    I’ve seen every one of those listed groups tarred with the “evil liberal” stereotype at one time or another, usually in more-or-less random combinations of two or more (take your “transnational progressivists,” your “Manhattan cocktail parties” and your “Hollywood commies,” mix vigorously and spew). I just wanted to be sure I didn’t miss the major categories old hen might have in mind, though that’s far from an exhaustive list.

  • Angus Jung

    When are you going to start that blog, Doc? It’s a shame that you’re hiding these insights in somebody else’s comments. Step into the spotlight!

  • hen

    having a bad day doc? look up sarcasm, then take the same dictionary and smack it across your face a couple of times just for sh*ts and giggles.
    oh and outside of brit hume i don’t think much of fox news, but don’t let that interfere with your presumptions and prejudices.
    have a nice day.
    oh how many “Bush/Cheney 08″ bumperstickers should i pencil you in for?

  • Jeff B.

    Bush/Cheney ’08? Planning on repealing some Amendments, are we hen?

  • Chris

    She was talking about Jeb Bush, Jeff.

  • hen

    uh yeah i was talking about jeb bush….that’s the ticket.
    (ducks)

  • http://www.modempool.com/nucleardann/blogspace/blog.htm Dann

    Hi Dr. Slack,
    So given the option between using a bit of humor and being rude and blunt, your advice would have been to be rude and blunt. After which you would have used the incident of Mr. Bush’s lack of tact and diplomacy.
    Once again he can’t win.
    As for the basic economics, there is more to building a sound economy than “buy stuff”, but at the same time, the movement of money is one of the actions that create wealth. That one stop certainly wasn’t enough to make the proprietor independently wealthy, but it surely didn’t hurt her sales for the week.
    If you could just drop “Hollywood” from your revised list, you might just have one worth keeping.
    -Regards

  • Charlie

    “Stretch” is Bill Samuelson. Wash Times, maybe? Anyway, I’ve seen him directly addressed as “stretch”.

  • Charlie

    Jeff, to be absolutely serious (having been a western stranger in your extremely strange land — in fact I was working in the south tower no more than a couple of weeks before Der Tag) I really think part of the problem is that your eastern ironic-detachment-mavens (in all black outfits, no doubt) Just Don’t Get Us Out West.
    That smirk or smile says “you guys just go ahead ‘misunderestimating’ me — I’m about to eat your lunch. Again.” Like when Gore walked over and attempted to appear dominating during the debate. When Bush didn’t react except for that look that said “is he nuts, or what?” he was reacting like Gary Cooper or John Wayne would. Not smug: amused at the presumption of it, and comfortably aware that it didn’t mean anything because he wasn’t willing to let it mean anything.
    We take that attitude seriously out here.
    I’m quite serious, by the way: I love NYC, and lived on the East Coast for years and years, but eventually had to learn that y’all do things different out there. Like the way front-running a trade is illegal-but-accepted on the NYSE: there’s just a different attitude about things like that.
    Hell, this isn’t very coherent… I need to think more on it. But in any case, I do think there’s a cultural issue here: Bush is much more a Texan than people readily accept.

  • Jim C.

    Slack the Quack wrote:

    Translation: “I have a severe intellectual inferiority complex about ‘liberals’…”

    Translation: “I have a severe intellectual superiority complex about ‘conservatives’ which results in an utter lack of a sense of humor and an inability to detect painfully obvious sarcasm.”

  • The Schwa Sound

    Stretch is Bill Sammon of the Washington Times. He’s about 6’7 or 6’8″.

  • http://www.modempool.com/nucleardann/blogspace/blog.htm Dann

    Short but sweet:
    Ames, IA isn’t NYC. NYC isn’t Ames, IA. Both are equally important.
    Ames is behind NYC come what may.
    NYC?????

  • Doctor Slack

    So given the option between using a bit of humor and being rude and blunt, your advice would have been to be rude and blunt.
    Actually, my advice would have been to act like an adult and realize the press doesn’t just come at you in carefully-screened press conferences. Really now, what would you say about a Dem who behaved like this?
    Translation: “I have a severe intellectual superiority complex about ‘conservatives’ which results in an utter lack of a sense of humor
    Oh, make no mistake, I was definitely laughing at hen. It just may not be the sense of humour you’d like…
    and an inability to detect painfully obvious sarcasm.”
    And inept sarcasm is still inept. Too bad.

  • Doctor Slack

    If you could just drop “Hollywood” from your revised list, you might just have one worth keeping.
    Why am I not surprised.

  • James Stephenson

    Ribs, mmmmmhhhmmmm.

  • http://youngcurmudgeon.typepad.com Eric Deamer

    Doctor Slack:
    Why say it in one post when you can say it in 10? Why say it in 10 when you can say it in 20? I think you may be the Walt Whitman of blog commenting.

  • http://www.modempool.com/nucleardann/blogspace/blog.htm Dann

    Eric-
    I’m hurt. Doctor Slack has nothing on me when it comes to running on at the fingers/mouth. [grin]
    -Regards

  • http://www.modempool.com/nucleardann/blogspace/blog.htm Dann

    Dr. Slack-
    You are not surprised. Nor am I.
    Transnationalists – those that place a higher priority on the ability of other nations to limit American freedom than on the freedom guaranteed by our Constitution – are a problem.
    Progressivists – those that support nationalizing health care, placing excess taxes on the ‘rich’, those that support preferences based on race, etc. – are a problem.
    Commies – and socialists, collectivist, etc. – are a definite problem. Communism is demonstrably the most destructive system of governance ever devised by humanity.
    My apologies to ‘Manhattan cocktail parties’ for including them where they clearly don’t belong.
    -Regards

  • Doctor Slack

    I think you may be the Walt Whitman of blog commenting.
    Really?

  • Doctor Slack

    hadn’t

  • Doctor Slack

    noticed.

  • Doctor Slack

    But I prefer to think of myself as the Walt Whitman of karaoke. (Don’t ask, it’s a long story.)
    Dann, you continue not to surprise me. I’d ask where the Blacks, Jews, lesbians and feminists fit in your demonology scheme, but I’m thinking I really don’t want to know.

  • http://www.modempool.com/nucleardann/blogspace/blog.htm Dann

    Dr. Slack –
    They don’t. Thus the reason why I clipped them from your list in the first place.
    But one supposes that it is easier to operate on false assumptions than to actually read what has been written.
    -Regards