June 26, 2004
Irish to Bush: "Carole Coleman's got 'cojones,' baby!"
BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
Back in the 19th Century, three of my grandparents crossed the Atlantic from Ireland, looking for a better life in America. I never knew Katie Brady, and knew Patrick and Mary (Norris) Finley for just a few years.
I am proud of that heritage today. Certainly, the Irish have tempers, are stubborn, have a tendency to imbibe now at then -- and I plead guilty to having all of the above at one point or another.
However, the Irish brought with them a work ethic, too, striving to achieve beyond their means in America. They brought some intelligence that has carried down to their ancestors. I am reading F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Tender is the Night."
President John F. Kennedy was the first Irish-Catholic to enter the White House, and he visited Ireland as president, speaking to hordes of loving and admiring countrymen. Ronald Reagan also claimed Irish roots, albeit somewhat questionable by the Isle's standards. He was welcomed with affection and respect. The Irish simply loved Bill Clinton.
Then came George W. Bush. To understand the depth of the antipathy that the Irish -- and the vast majority of Europeans -- have toward Bush, look at the interview conducted by Carole Coleman of the RTE Network Thursday night before Bush departed for Ireland and the European Union summit.
Coleman opened by making clear that the Irish people opposed the Iraq War and were horrified with the degradation of the Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Bush started to answer with his usual obfuscations and evasions, but Coleman did not stand for them. After he stopped -- to think of what other talking points the staff had gone over with him earlier in the day -- Coleman asked some tough questions. Bush responded with "Let me finish ... ," trying to a tact that has been so effective with the docile, passive, doting American media.
Coleman would have none of it, going after him like a boxer in a 10-round bout. The White House was outraged by her tenacity, with Rev. Moon's UPI release on the Washington Times entitled, "Bush pleads for courtesy." It quotes the beleaguered president, "Let me finish. Let me finish. May I finish." Bush sounded like the rich kid with the baseball and bat saying, "If you don't let me play, I'll take my bat and ball and go home."
Actually, what Coleman was saying to Bush, expressing the outrage of her country and that of Europe, "I've got what those American media outlets do not have -- the female version of testosterone -- cojones, as he called them in Bob Woodward's interview."
Coleman wasn't buying the story about Saddam being a bad man and democracy being a noble form of government for the Iraqis.
As an Irish-American, I can say one thing: "Thank you, Carole Coleman. You did what that tenacious interviewer Tim Russert -- and the rest of the U.S. media -- did not have the testosterone to do. Thank you for showing that the Irish tenacity and quest for truth is alive and well."
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
Articles in the BuzzFlash Contributor section are posted as-is. Given the timeliness of some Contributor articles, BuzzFlash cannot verify or guarantee the accuracy of every word. We strive to correct inaccuracies when they are brought to our attention.