“Audience Interruption” 

Posted: 6:36 pm Sunday, December 14th, 2008

By Jamie Dupree

At first, I was going to write a blog entry about the usual deception that the White House goes through when President Bush secretly flies to visit Iraq.  But then it morphed into something else.

That ‘something else’ was an Iraqi journalist who decided to throw each of his shoes at President Bush, during a news conference with the Iraqi Prime Minister.

For those of you who don’t know, the shoe is a big deal in the Arab world.  Think back to when US Marines toppled that statue of Saddam Hussein and everyone ran up to it, took off a shoe and started beating their shoes on the statue.

Down South, it’s an insult to question another man’s sexuality.  Over in the Mideast, your shoes do the talking.

You have to admit, whether you like President Bush or not, he ducked pretty quick when the guy zipped the first shoe at him. 

And then a tip of the hat to Prime Minister Maliki, who stuck his hand in front of the President’s face, like he was a cornerback trying to block a pass.

The reason I titled this blog “Audience Interruption,” is that is the phrase used by the White House in the transcript of the news conference to describe the shoe throwing incident.

No description, just “(Audience interruption.)”

“PRESIDENT BUSH:  Okay, everybody calm down for a minute.  First of all thank you for apologizing on behalf of the Iraqi people.  It doesn’t bother me.  And if you want some — if you want the facts, it’s a size 10 shoe that he threw.  (Laughter.)  Thank you for your concern, do not worry about it.”

The President will return to Washington on Monday.