Bush and the Finger of Hostility

Posted on July 28, 2005

So, did President Bush shoot the finger at the Press, or not? Jay Leno aired a tape on the Tonight Show where it looks like an irritated president Bush shoots the finger at the press as he walks away. The press was determined to get to the bottom of the matter, and closely questioned Scotty about the incident. But Scotty, already much hardened by the beating he's taking over Rove's role in Plamegate, wasn't backing down on Fingergate.

Ken, go ahead.

Q Scott, last night on the Tonight Show, Jay Leno, who apparently is subbing for Johnnie, displayed a video of the President at the Capitol yesterday. In that video, the President walking away from the press lifts his hand and raises a finger. Mr. Leno interpreted it as, shall we say, a finger of hostility. Each of our fingers has a special purpose and meaning in life. (Laughter.) Can you tell us what finger it was he held up?

MR. McCLELLAN: Ken, I'm not even going to dignify that with much of a response. But if someone is misportraying something, that's unfortunate.

Q Well, it was not a finger of hostility?

MR. McCLELLAN: Ken, I was there with him, and I'm just not going to -- I'm not going to dignify that with a response. I mean, I haven't seen the video that you're talking about, but I know the way the President acts. And if someone is misportraying it, that's unfortunate.

Notice that Scotty never denies that the president shot the finger at the press, which would have been the logical thing to do. He just says he won't answer the question, that he knows the president (who we now know really loves his dirty jokes and that if someone misportrayed it, that's unfortunate.

Translation: So, he did shoot the finger at the press. But don't misportray it at as a "Finger of Hostility." Clearly, only a Freedom Hater would call it anything other than a "Finger of Affection for the Free Press."

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