The “King George” Image in Europe is Reinforced
England’s The Daily Mirror is one of the more sensational tabloids across the pond, but even they every now and then have a story that is worth looking at. It seems that Bush wanted a guaranteed standing ovation before he would agree to speak at the European Union meeting on Iraq, and wanted no dissent or hostility. But when the Europeans rightly balked at such a demand, the White House passed.
And if it wasn’t for the imperial behavior he has already demonstrated in his stage-managed appearances and press conferences over here, it would be easy to dismiss this story by saying “consider the source.”
GEORGE Bush pulled out of a speech to the European Parliament when MEPs wouldn't guarantee a standing ovation.
Senior White House officials said the President would only go to Strasbourg to talk about Iraq if he had a stage-managed welcome.
A source close to negotiations said last night: "President Bush agreed to a speech but insisted he get a standing ovation like at the State of the Union address.
"His people also insisted there were no protests, or heckling.
"I believe it would be a crucial speech for Mr. Bush to make in light of the opposition here to war. But unless he only gets adulation and praise, then it will never happen."
Mr Bush's every appearance in the US is stage-managed, with audiences full of supporters.
Do you think you would ever see such candor from an American newspaper?
Again, it would be easy to dismiss The Mirror on this, except that Paul Gilfeather is their chief Parliament editor, who has written some pretty well-sourced stuff lately about the troubles that Tony Blair will likely encounter if he goes along with Bush in an invasion with little UN support.
Update: And if you do not want to believe The Mirror on this by itself, how about the BBC? (see item #7)