/ 9-11-2001

In praise of follow-up questions

<p>In honor of the one reporter present at the Presidential press conference last night with the balls to try and get a straight answer out of our fearless leader, I offer this extended dance mix version of Question Number Thirteen:</p>

<p>REPORTER: Mr. President, why are you and the vice president insisting on appearing together before the 9/11 commission?</p>

<p>BUSH: ...because the 9/11 commission wants to ask us questions, that&#8217;s why we&#8217;re meeting. And I look forward to meeting with them and answering their questions.</p>

<p>REPORTER: I was asking why you&#8217;re appearing together, rather than separately, which was their request.</p>

<p>BUSH: Because it&#8217;s a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9/11 Commission is looking forward to asking us. And I&#8217;m looking forward to answering them.</p>

<p>REPORTER: OK, Mr. President, perhaps you don&#8217;t understand the essence of the question.  I know you&#8217;re a bit slow, so let me spell this out for you.  What I&#8217;d like to know is why you refuse to meet with the commission on your own, without Vice President Cheney next to you; why you refuse to simply sit in a chair and answer some questions.  You&#8217;ve already said you look forward to answering their questions, and you have even surmised that the Commission is looking forward to asking them, though I suspect you just got your script a little mixed up there.  So, why not meet with them separately, as they have requested?</p>

<p>BUSH: (Bush stammers and then puffs out his cheeks while the cameras go wild) Uh&#8230;</p>

<p>REPORTER:  OK, OK, let&#8217;s try another approach.  Mr. President, are you familiar with the police drama &#8220;NYPD Blue&#8221;? </p>

<p>BUSH:  Ah, I don&#8217;t really watch TV.  I believe I already mentioned I don&#8217;t read the papers, either. </p>

<p>REPORTER:  Well, often the detectives will apprehend a pair of suspects.  Invariably, they will place the suspects in separate rooms and quesion them separately.  This is in the interest of getting at the truth.  You see, sometimes people will try to lie about something they did or didn&#8217;t do, so the detectives will split up the suspects and have them each tell their stories separately.  This way, they can search for any inconsistencies in the two tales, and possibly expose a lie.  You see where I&#8217;m going with this, Mr. President?</p>

<p>BUSH:  Unh huh.  I see.  Well, there you go, they ask the suspects questions.  I believe in asking questions, because, because&#8212;no, I look forward to asking questions&#8230; and, when others look forward to asking questions&#8230; I look forward to answering them.  </p>

<p>REPORTER:  Mr. President&#8212;<br />

BUSH: Take my dog, Barney, for example. Just the other day, Barney began speaking to me. He told me that God is quite pleased with my performance as President, but that he felt the sich…youu…ation, situation, that’s it, is spiraling out of control in Iraq, and Barney asked if he could help me out with anything. So I asked Vice President Cheney what he thought, and we agreed to answer a flat “no”.

<p>REPORTER:  Mr. President?</p>

<p>BUSH:  Yes?</p>

<p>REPORTER:  Are you saying that God speaks to you through your pet dog?</p>

<p>BUSH:  Well, I&#8217;ll have to refer you to my Vice President for the answer to that question.</p>

<p>REPORTER:  OK, don&#8217;t worry about that.  We already know you&#8217;re nuts.  Back to this issue of your refusal to be questioned alone with the 9/11 commission.  I think the American people deserve a little more candor than you&#8217;re displaying to us, given  everything that&#8217;s been coming to light lately regarding the administration&#8217;s intelligence failures.  Why won&#8217;t you simply grant the commission&#8217;s request for a separate closed door session with you?</p>

<p>BUSH:  Candor? </p>

<p>REPORTER:  Oh, sorry Mr. President.  It means honesty, sincerity, impartiality. </p>

<p>BUSH:  Im&#8230;parsh..ul..ity?</p>

<p>REPORTER:  Forget it, Mr. President.  Forget it.</p>

<p>BUSH:  OK, well I guess that wraps it up here.  Thank you all for your time.  I really looked forward to answering your questions, and may God bless the United&#8212;<br />

REPORTER: Yeah, whatever.