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Carole Coleman and George Bush

Update October 2005: This interview was done last year, but has recently come to light again. More details here.

Carole Coleman, RTE Washington correspondent, has caused a mini-controversy after her interview with George Bush. You can watch the full interview with Real Player.

John feels she was not up to the job. I am going to reserve judgement for now.

Watch it though.

Update: Kevin Drum lambasts the President for requiring scripted questions in the first place, while praising Coleman:

We have a president who apparently feels uncomfortable doing an interview with a foreign journalist unless he knows beforehand what she’s going to ask, and then behaves childishly when she actually follows up and insists on genuine answers to the prescripted questions instead of the usual talking point pabulum that the American press laps up. How dare she interrupt the president of the United States and demand real answers!

12 thoughts on “Carole Coleman and George Bush”

  1. With all due respect to John, I think he’s all wet. I applaud your Carole Coleman. I suppose it takes a foreign journalist to ask pointed questions of arguably the most powerful man in the world, since our US press corp are used to fawning “soft” questions. FWIW, I wrote to RTE to say they should be quite proud of her. This pouty business about cancelling the scheduled interview with Laura Bush just shows the calibre of these folk.
    Cheers, Gavin—Best wishes.

  2. Good for Carole Coleman! It’s about time someone asked Dubya some hard questions … it’s sad and very frightening that he can barely put together a coherent answer.

    I am an American citizen and horribly upset that our country is being “led” by such a mediocre being. Believe me, many many of us here can hardly wait to get Bush out of office so we can hopefully return to a more sensible foreign policy.

    If Bush wins re-election there are many of us who are considering emigrating to another country! Any openings in Ireland?

    Connecticut, USA

  3. The interview with Coleman was as good as you can get out of Bush, because the man repeats drivel like an automaton. Actually, it’s pointless to ask him anything, because he’s clearly not the one in charge. So who sets policy in the US? Who picked Bush to be the front man? Who is the real U.S. government? Are they the same people who now picked Kerry? Bush is a clueless idiot enjoying the trappings of power, much like Reagan. Reporters need to ask just who the real power is, because it sure as hell ain’t Bush.

  4. This interview is a rare glimpse that many europeans dont see and many coherent americans continue to protest the incompetent and generally unintelligible Bush. “my job is to do my job” is a classic Bushism. I cant wait to watch a presidential debate sometime this fall, I will have popcorn and sodas ready to enjoy the comedy that is our 43 president George W. Bush.
    Thank You Carole Coleman for being a true journalist and not sidestepping the issues like most of the pathetic White house press core and the American media

  5. I’ve just watched the interview for the first time, thanks to your link, Gavin.

    And honestly, I can’t for the life of me see what all the fuss is about. Coleman and Bush were both courteous to each other. Coleman’s interrupations were not rude a la Paxman, and she desisted whenever Bush asked her to.

    It was not, in any sense, an aggressive interview.

    The previous week, David Dimbleby interviewed Bill Clinton for Panorama on BBC. A few days earlier, the Times previewed that this had been a very aggressive interview focused on Monica Lewinsky, that so angered Clinton that he nearly walked out.


    Clinton took a couple of questions about Lewinsky, then asked Dimbleby why he was using valuable time concentrating on this issue at the expense of more important matters such as ex-Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland etc. Dimbleby, like a good poodle, immediately did as he was told and dropped the Lewinsky line of questioning.

    People (journalists ?) are just itching for a juicy conflict story, and if they can’t find one, they’ll make it up.

  6. During the interview, Bush made reference to seven Iraqis who visited him, each with an American prosthetic to replace a right hand removed (surgically) by Saddam’s surgeons as a punishment for currency offences. This is just one of countless Saddamite atrocities of which the Pentagon has captured a library of videos. It released one of them, filmed in Abu Ghraib, to the press a couple of weeks ago, but the media have steadfastly refused to give it any airtime or even to report its existence.

    I find this silence scandalous, and have written about it at, which provides a link to the video. The opening clip features one of the seven unfortunates who visited Bush.

    Unpleasant as it is, the video should be viewed. You don’t appreciate what happened in Abu Ghraib until you see it.

  7. Tony,

    Maybe the media learned about blocking pictures from Abu Ghraib from the US Government who did the same once they got their paws on the ones showing US troops. A little quid pro quo can go along way.

    Carole Coleman’s interview was in the tradition of British/Irish interviewers and was rather tame compared to what British parliamentarians can expect on BBC Radio 4 (always worth a listen, it’s on stream). It has reached the point that US politicians throw out hackneyed answers similar to sports players and the US press just lap it up. Bush’s job is to serve his people; being asked to clearly state his positions hardly seems impolite.

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  10. Hey Dana from Connecticut; I suppose you’re reading this from Ireland!
    For the rest of us with common sense, we applaud Dubya’s re-election and are sick and tired of Old Islamo-Europe’s fascination with trying to rig our elections.

  11. I’m a U.S. citizen, and I applaud Ms. Coleman’s forthrightness and guts. The Bush administration and the owners of the owners of the mainstream media have U.S. journalists so cowed that even a mildly questioning interview like Ms. Coleman’s seems “vicious” to Bush’s staff. It is truly frightening that the Bush administration and related entities have so limited freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of information in this country, without objection from the majority of Congress or the population at large.

    Thank you, Ms. Coleman, for demonstrating that at least ONE journalist has the integrity and courage to do her job properly! Next time, though, don’t be so gentle with the little monster!

    Thank you for the opportunity to post this, Gavin!

Comments are closed.

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