Wednesday, February 14

He's a big bully

Here's the transcript of a minute in the middle of the president's news conference today:

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Sir, we've now learned through sworn testimony that at least three members of your administration, other than Scooter Libby, leaked Valerie Plame's identity to the media. None of these three is known to be under investigation. Without commenting on the Libby trial, then, can you tell us whether you authorized any of these three to do that, or were they authorized without your permission?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, thanks, Pete. I'm not going to talk about any of it.

Q They're not under investigation, though?

THE PRESIDENT: Peter, I'm not going to talk about any of it.

Q How about pardons, sir? Many people are asking whether you might pardon --

THE PRESIDENT: Not going to talk about it, Peter. (Laughter.) Would you like to think of another question? Being the kind man that I am, I will recycle you. (Laughter.) John.

Q Thank you --

THE PRESIDENT: You like that one? "Recycling" him. (Laughter.)

Q That took care of one of my questions, as well, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: If that's the case, sit down. Next question. (Laughter.)
"Being the kind man that I am, I will recycle you." Hi-larious!

"Sit down. Next question." Har de har har!

A transcript doesn't convey the middle-school-lunchroom feel of this exchange. You had to have heard it on radio or seen it on TV. Our president is a bully who refuses to confirm or deny that he ordered his underlings to unmask a spy. He jokes about "being the kind man that I am," which is his way of admitting to us (and maybe to himself) that he is a cruel man. He brusquely orders a reporter to sit down, like a dog.

And our press corps laughs.

Straight out of the middle-school lunchroom. You remember those days. They're the bullying years. And when a bully humiliated a kid in front of an audience -- such as in the lunchroom -- the cowardly bystanders laughed. They laughed with the bully because they didn't dare cross him. The bully might go after them next. They certainly didn't step forward and protect the victim from the bully.

That's your press corps. Subjecting themselves to a big, mean bully who gives reporters unwanted nicknames and orders them to sit down (kiddingly but not really) and tells them that he will "recycle" them.

It's so sad to hear these munchkins laugh when the big bully is beating up on a colleague.

As Digby says (links to Hullabaloo aren't working well; scroll down to the item "706 Days Left): "by far the most painful thing is watching the press corps laugh and laugh when he treats them like children and makes unfunny, puerile jokes at their expense. It's the most pathetic thing I've ever seen and that includes many decades in a business where brownnosing the boss has been raised to the level of religion."