Democratic Underground

Press Conference 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:

Announcer 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!

*Applause*

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.

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?

Bush: I believe that one of these days, we'll be seeing Attorney General Ashcroft picking up trash along that stretch of road.

*Laughter*

Bush: Next question is from the big fat guy in the corner.

Limbaugh (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?

Bush: Well, we'll just work harder to take away more votes next time.

*Howls of laughter*

Bush: Next!

Matthews (wearing eyeglasses that have "eyeballs" dangling from springs): How are our relations with Canada coming, Mr. President?

Bush: 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.

*Guffaws*

Bush: Next question, from my favorite Irish redneck.

Hannity (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?

Bush: 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!

*Hoots and whistles and foot stomping*

Bush (slamming a rubber chicken down on the podium): OK, last question is yours, Will.

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?

Bush: Not yet, but after I slash another 100 million from my predecessor's education budget, they will be. After all, education is my top priority.

*Clapping and cheering*

Larry 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 joker!

 

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