Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A President and his fish

From U.S. blogger (and fellow Americanadian) Majikthise, I read tonight that U.S. President Bush had apparently "told a German newspaper that the highlight of his six years as President of the United States of America was that time he caught a relatively good-sized fish in his private lake." Because I'm well aware that these second-hand, foreign-language stories can end up like a game of telephone when transmitted through blogs, though, I decided to do a little digging. Unfortunately, this time it's even more embarrassing than Majikthise lets on.

First of all, it turns out that the "newspaper" in question was the Bild-Zeitung. I use scare quotes intentionally, because this isn't a newspaper as we know them here in Canada; it's a tabloid that makes our Sun series look like Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalism. The closest North American analogy would be the National Enquirer, except that in addition to Tom and Katie's baby and various deathbed confessions of ancient film stars, they also make an attempt to report on the issues of the day. What a U.S. president--even this one--was doing giving an exclusive interview to this paper is entirely beyond me.

Second, it turns out that a look at the original confirms that Bush did, indeed, tell the Bild-Zeitung that the best moment of his presidency involved catching a fish. Here's a translation of the relevant passage:

What was the worst moment so far during your term as President?

The worst moment was September 11th, 2001.

And what was the best moment of your term in office?

You know, I have experienced many great moments. It's difficult to choose the greatest ones. I would say that the very best moment was when I caught a seven-and-a-half-pound perch out of my lake. (laughs)
Now, I realize this comes nowhere near approaching some of the most embarrassing things this President has said, but there's something special about this one, no? If only because of its unintentional truthfulness.

3 comments:

Lindsay Beyerstein said...

Thanks for the link and the legwork, IP. I linked to your post at Majikthise.

bigcitylib said...

He seems to have forgotten that moment he stepped aboard the aircraft carrier and announced "Mission accomplished". I wondeer why?

Arrogant Polyglot said...

If only he had caught crabs at the Lake and shared that with the media :)