The dreaded “comment picked up by a microphone” has struck again. This time, President Bush was overheard using some rough language in criticism of Hezbollah while he dined with British leader Tony Blair at a summit.
Here’s how the AP story used the direct quote:
“See the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s— and it’s over,” Bush told Blair as he chewed on a buttered roll.
It’s unusual to capture the president talking this way, and the choice of words reflects his frustration with the Mideast situation. The “shit” is part of the news, much more so than the buttered roll. It will be interesting to see which, if any, newspapers publish his comment as is.
UPDATE: Here’s how a few papers and wire services handled this:
- “Munching on a roll, Bush told Blair, ‘What they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this [expletive] and it’s over.” — McClatchy Newspapers, as published in The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.
- “Using a vulgarity, Mr. Bush said at one point that Syria should get Hezbollah to stop its attacks on Israel, describing American policy in the kind of unfettered language that he acknowledged only weeks ago sometimes gets him in trouble when he uses it publicly.” — The New York Times
- “His solution to the Middle East crisis was that Syria should press Hizbollah to ‘stop doing this shit,’ ” — Reuters, as published on the Washington Post’s site
USA Today has a story on the decision on what to run.