The Emperor’s new shoes

December 14, 2008 | By | 5 Replies More

Compare this:

But among the crowds a little child suddenly gasped out, “But he hasn’t got anything on.”

With this report from Think Progress:

McClatchy identified the man as Iraqi television journalist Muthathar al Zaidi and reports he threw both of his shoes at Bush just after he finished prepared remarks.  The New York Times notes that the first shoe “narrowly missed” and the second shoe also missed. “This is a farewell kiss, you dog,” Zaidi shouted.

Think Progress also notes that ” throwing a shoe is “a grave insult in the Arab world.”

After watching President Bush give his presentations to carefully hand-picked partisan audiences for eight years, we now have an image of how normal people react (and should react) when a politician has killed, maimed, abused, displaced and/or provoked tens of millions of people (in Iraq, in the U.S. and throughout the world).

For the record, I am also motivated by the massive damage that George W. Bush and his cronies have done to the American economy.

For me, the emotional outburst by the Iraqi journalist was a brief whiff of sanity.   If the corporate media had been doing its job for the past eight years, we would all be throwing our shoes.


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Category: Communication, Corruption, Media, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    [Some] Arab journalists and commentators, fed up with U.S. policy in the Middle East and Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003 to topple Saddam, echoed al-Zeidi's sentiments Monday. Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the influential London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, wrote on the newspaper's Web site that the incident was "a proper goodbye for a war criminal."

  2. Mary says:

    A friend of mine is going to send a pair of her old shoes to the White House in a vote of solidarity for the shoe-throwing journalist. She invites others to do so as well.

  3. Erika Price says:

    It made me feel sad to see Bush duck and dodge the shoe, a vague sense of dread sweeping across his face. Slowly he has begun to realize the true breadth of his mistakes, and the realization must be crushing. Once he has left office, and no longer has a parade of cronies to protect him from criticsm, the awareness of his mistakes will be overwhelming. He would have come to this point anyway, upon picking up a book or stray newspaper on his ranch, and slowly digesting the terrible opinion that all have of him. It was foolish for the Iraqi journalist to throw the shoes, for several reasons. First, it was a moment that questioned the prowess of Secret Service protection, and the journalist will no doubt be made to pay immensely for the attack. Second, it is a boorish, inelegant way of dealing with a disliked figure- very much like something Bush himself would have done (figuratively at least).

    A moment of "sanity"? No. I don't care whether, in the great cosmic calculus, Bush "deserved it". The shoe-throwing was as pigheaded as Bush's own foreign policy, and is never the proper way to handle a problem.

  4. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Something lost in translation….

    I often see translations of Arab insult that call their enemies "dog". To us this sounds tame unless you think about the fact that often use the same description as an insult, but the American version is "Son of a [female dog]".

    Throwing your shoe as an insult may also seem strange to Americans, but would you like to get hit in the face by something that has been exposed to the filth and muck if the streets. Most of the Muslims that I know require that their guests remove their shoes and leave them on the porch when entering their homes.

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    Bush is the "So What?" President. I'm counting the days and hours until he leaves office.

    Bush sat down for an interview with ABC's Martha Raddatz. During the interview, Bush engaged in a rewriting of history to justify the war, suggesting that Iraq had been al Qaeda's home base. When Raddatz corrected him, Bush replied, "So what?" "The point is that al-Qaeda said they're going to take a stand," Bush declared.

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