Perhaps it’s because the Sunday New York Times and Washington Post were put to bed too early to catch the story, but neither has an account of President Bush’s rescue of the Secret Service agent in Santiago last night. However, both the Washington Times and New York Post carry stories on the incident today. The Washington Times story is not to be missed: “In role reversal, President Bush rescues Secret Service agent.”
UPDATE: Readers Ryan Pitts and Bruce Stewart have pointed out that the Sunday Times included the scene in its overall report on the president’s day in Chile, “Bush says Iran speeds output of A-bomb fuel,” and that the Post had an item on the president and the Secret Service agent on page A24, “Bush comes to agent’s aid in unusual role reversal.”
HINDROCKET adds: The Washington Post now has a front-page story by Mike Allen. The Post is clearly annoyed that President Bush got good publicity from his decisive intervention in the agents’ scuffle. Thus, while Allen mostly tells the story straight, he adds a few curve balls. He adds a “My Pet Goat” element: “It took Bush several minutes to realize what was happening.” Ridiculous, if you’ve seen the video. Then, after the scuffle, the Post reports that Bush “looked enormously pleased with himself. He was wearing the expression that some critics call a smirk.” (Ah, yes, the “smirk,” always a giveaway.) The AP, on the other hand, said Bush looked “irritated.” But what made me laugh out loud in the Post’s account was its quotation of a Chilean journalist:
Marcelo Romero, a reporter with Santiago’s newspaper La Cuarta, said: “All of us journalists agree that President Bush looked like a cowboy. It was total breach of protocol. I’ve seen a lot of John Wayne movies, and President Bush was definitely acting like a cowboy.”
That, I’m sure, wounded the President deeply.