From our neighbors to the north come these bits…
Bush unchallenged by media
9/11 film makes hero of Bush
When Stockwell Day arrived by skidoo in a wetsuit, Canadians laughed. When George Bush arrived by fighter jet in a combat suit, Americans called him a hero.
That says a lot about the difference between Canadians and Americans these days. Canadians aren’t so easily conned.
Of course, some might conclude instead that former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day is simply a more laughable figure. But that hardly seems fair.
It’s true that Day’s waterside “press conference” in 2000 was stage-managed and laughable — designed so that Day could look vigorous and athletic as he zoomed up in a wetsuit.
But Bush’s fighter-plane landing on the deck of a U.S. battleship earlier this month, and his emergence from the cockpit in combat gear and mussed-up hair, was even more stage-managed (right down to the soft-tone sunset lighting and the “Mission Accomplished” backdrop sign perfectly angled for TV viewers). As for laughable, it’s hard to outdo Bush — who went AWOL from the National Guard during the Vietnam War — strutting around the ship in full battle regalia, carrying his own helmet (I guess there wasn’t anybody available to carry it for him.)
But while the Canadian media had a field day lampooning Stockwell Day, the American media largely treated the Bush photo-op as a serious event, if not a nation-building moment. (One had to seek out obscure Web sites to find questions like: Wasn’t that a sock stuffed down the front of the president’s combat pants?)
Only an administration supremely confident of the media’s docility would have risked staging an event like that, leaving Bush open to ridicule from any media outlet that saw its role as more than simply being a chronicler of Tales of Fearless Leaders.
Trapped on the other side of the country aboard Air Force One, the President has lost his cool: “If some tinhorn terrorist wants me, tell him to come and get me! I’ll be at home! Waiting for the bastard!”
His Secret Service chief seems taken aback. “But Mr. President . . .”
The President brusquely interrupts him. “Try Commander-in-Chief. Whose present command is: Take the President home!”
Was this George W. Bush’s moment of resolve on Sept. 11, 2001? Well, not exactly. Actually, the scene took place this month, on a Toronto sound stage.
The histrionics, filmed for a two-hour TV movie to be broadcast this September, are as close as you can get to an official White House account of its activities at the outset of the war on terrorism.
Written and produced by a White House insider with the close co-operation of Mr. Bush and his top officials, The Big Dance represents an unusually close merger of Washington’s ambitions and Hollywood’s movie machinery.
A copy of the script obtained by The Globe and Mail reveals a prime-time drama starring a nearly infallible, heroic president with little or no dissension in his ranks and a penchant for delivering articulate, stirring, off-the-cuff addresses to colleagues.
That the whole thing was filmed in Canada and is eligible for financial aid from Canadian taxpayers, and that its loyal Republican writer-producer is a Canadian citizen best known for his adaptation of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, are ironies that will be lost on most of its American viewers when it airs on the Showtime network this fall.
Finally, if you want another good laugh (or cry), go read Dude, Where’s My Tax Cut?