PRESIDENT KARZAI: (Speaking English.) Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, very nice of you. Any more questions?
VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: No, I’m fine.
PRESIDENT KARZAI: You’re disappointed? One more question. Don’t disappoint the press ever.
VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: Don’t disappoint the press ever. (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT KARZAI: Please, ma’am.
I think I’ve become anesthetized not just to the mind-bending arrogance of Dick Cheney, but to the tendency of the media to either giggle, or simply look away.
Because of this passive acceptance, I barely registered the rare comeuppance Dick received from Karzai last week when he tried to cut short their joint press conference. (Keeping with the theme of denial, you might check out the self-serving do-over on the White House photo gallery, in which the event was entirely reframed to highlight Dick’s eagerness to answer questions. …And this was only days after the 60 Minutes interview in which Dick dismissed the American public’s opinion on the war with a “So?”)
Why I’m bringing this up at all, however, is because of the shot I saw last evening on Reuters Pic of the Day.
Shaking me out of the “Dick as comedy” stupor was this photo from Turkey of a protester expressing himself over Dick’s impending arrival. What it did was point out how someone somewhere was not only still paying attention, but would be so muted for the rebuttal.
Vice President Dick Cheney smiles as a reporter asks a question during a press availability with President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai” (White House Photo Gallery)
Reuters Pictures of the Day
Cheney/Karzai press conference (White House transcript)
Cheney On Two-Thirds Of The American Public Opposing The Iraq War: ‘So?’ (Think Progress)
(image 1: Rafiq Maqbool/AP. Kabul. March 20, 2008. YahooNews. image 2: Stringer. Ankara. March 24, 2008. reuters.co.uk. )