at Political Comedy Central
April 10, 2001
by Art Bushwald
George W. Bush has decided that he will not be holding formal
press conferences to brief the press on what his administration
is doing. It appears that some reporters, at least, have a
pesky habit of asking questions that cannot be answered with
a prepared 3 x 5 cue card, and if Mr. Bush stumbles with the
answer, as is often the case, it might have the unfortunate
consequence of showing that he might not be as well versed
as he should be on the issue. It could also be that holding
such conferences might be annoying to the nation's top official
because it would interfere with his nap time, or his work-out
time, or his time for planning his next weekend getaway to
his Texas ranch.
At any rate, "Dubya" has shown that he takes his position
as leader of the free world less seriously than most of his
predecessors, and has even gone so far as to poke fun at himself
and his well-known malapropisms, to the delight of his audiences.
Not only does this break the ice, but a good review in the
next day's Washington Post would help to pad his resume
for the time he leaves the White House and starts looking
for work in the nation's comedy circuits.
The issue here is that if he wants to play president, Dubya
really should be giving press conferences, but he should be
also given the opportunity to provide the comic laughter he
wants. A novel way to kill two birds with one stone would
be to hold very informal press conferences in the White House,
with a team of Dubya's favorite journalists asking easy, pre-rehearsed
questions that would put the world's most powerful man at
ease. And both Dubya and his journalists would be dressed
in such a way that would make even the staunchest liberal
forget for a time his concerns about arsenic in the water
and cuts in programs for needy kids. A typical conference
would go like this:
Ari Fleischer (wearing Groucho glasses): Live from
the West Wing of the White House, it's Political Comedy Live!
And here's your host for Political Comedy Live, the funniest
man this side of the Potomac, George Dubya Bush!
(dressed in a court jester's outfit): Thank you, Mr.
Potato Head, for that wonderful introduction. You know, a
funny thing happened to me as I was headed to an audition
for a comedy act in Hollywood. I was planning to drive to
Californy from my Texas ranch, but I held the durned map upside
down and wound up in Warshinton, D.C.! *Chuckles* Anyway,
this is an audience participation act, so to get us all started,
I'll start taking questions. The first one's yours, Miss Coulter.
(wearing a fake-arrow-through-the-head): Mr. President,
what are your views regarding the decision of the US Supreme
Court to allow the Ku Klux Klan to erect an adopt-a-highway
sign in Missouri?
I believe that one of these days, we'll be seeing Attorney
General Ashcroft picking up trash along that stretch of road.
Next question is from the big fat guy in the corner.
(wearing a pig nose and pig ears): Mr. President, did
you know that if you took away the black votes, you would've
won in a landslide?
Well, we'll just work harder to take away more votes next
(wearing eyeglasses that have "eyeballs" dangling from
springs): How are our relations with Canada coming, Mr.
Canada...? Canada...? Ohhhh, CANADA! (hums a couple of
bars of 'O Canada') Yeah, well, as you know, Prime Minister
Putin... excuse me, Prime Minister POUTINE, and I met the
other day. We had a nice talk and I found out that Canada
is actually bigger than Texas, and there are, like, polar
bears and stuff up there.
Next question, from my favorite Irish redneck.
(wearing a San Diego chicken outfit): Some liberals
are saying that there's no 'compassion' in 'compassionate
conservatism'. What is your answer for these misguided morons?
Well, to tell ya the truth, I was lookin' through my dictionary
the other night, cuz Laura said I had ta learn more words,
and I looked up 'compassionate' and by golly, it didn't seem
to be quite the word I meant after all! This must be one of
my famous mala... palaprop... malaproprianisms! (and Laura
said I'd never learn to pronounce that word!) *Laughter*
And then I went a-looking some more, an' come across the word
'passionate'. An' Mr. Webster said that 'passionate' meant
"easily angered, hot-tempered" an' I thought, by golly, THAT's
what I REALLY meant ta say, it's really PASSIONATE conservativism!
and whistles and foot stomping*
(slamming a rubber chicken down on the podium): OK, last question
is yours, Will.
(wearing clown costume): Mr. President, during the
campaign, you asked the brilliant and intriguing question,
"Is our children learning?" Now that you is president,
do you think that they is?
Not yet, but after I slash another 100 million from my predecessor's
education budget, they will be. After all, education is my
King (dressed like Frankenstein, running up to the
podium): Mr. President, that was one of the greatest press
conferences of all time! Let me shake your hand! (They
shake hands, then King draws his back abruptly). The old
buzzer in the hand trick -- Mr. President, you're quite a