Bush falls prey to Prankster

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Bush Falls Prey to Prankster

OTTAWA--Stung by a pop quiz about foreign leaders earlier in his campaign, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush now has fallen victim to a foreign affairs prank. Canadians are chuckling over his on-air answer when a comic posing as a reporter made up a story that Canadian Prime Minister "Jean Poutine" had endorsed him. "I appreciate his strong statement, he understands I believe in free trade," Bush replied. "He understands I want to make sure our relations with our most important neighbor to the north of us, the Canadians, is strong and we'll work closely together," he continued. Canada's prime minister is Jean Chretien, not Poutine, and he has endorsed no one in U.S. politics. Poutine is a fast food meal of french fries, gravy and cheese curd popular in French-speaking Quebec. The stunt was pulled by comic Rick Mercer from "This Hour Has 22 Minutes," a satirical TV show in Canada. Mercer, who sets up politicians on both sides of the border for laughs, buttonholed Bush at a campaign event in Michigan last month and fired several questions at him about a Prime Minister Poutine. The CBC program showed the exchange twice last week. The real prime minister's office took the episode in stride, offering this response: "Clearly, Canada is not in the Bush leagues." Bush campaign spokesman Scott McClellan said the rushed nature of the encounter probably explained why the Texas governor did not catch on to the trick. The interview apparently lasted less than 20 seconds, McClellan said, and was "one of hundreds of interviews he does as he's walking along a rope line" as people get a quick word with him. He said Bush knows Chretien is the prime minister. Indeed, Mercer said Monday it's easy to lead his victims astray because they expect a straight question from someone they think is with the press. "People don't really expect reporters to be asking trick questions," he said. "It's all in really good fun." Gov. John Engler of Michigan, a border state with Canada, also didn't catch on when asked about Poutine at the same event. But he did seem surprised that a Canadian leader would supposedly take sides in a U.S. election. Canadians are keenly aware how little Americans know about them, a sense reinforced by Mercer as he has traveled in the United States fishing for evidence of that ignorance. "We've done a lot of these segments and we're consistently flabbergasted at the outrageous things we can tell Americans about Canada and not get quizzed," producer Geoff D'Eon told The Canadian Press. In Arkansas, Mercer got Gov. Mike Huckabee to congratulate Canadians for preserving their "national igloo" -which Mercer had told him was melting because of global warming. And he got American professors to sign a petition urging an end to the "Toronto polar bear hunt." Toronto is a city of 2.4 million people and no wild polar bears.


-- cin (cinlooo@aol.com), March 06, 2000


" ... not in the Bush leagues...." !!! ROFL!


-- Squirrel Hunter (nuts@upina.cellrelaytower), March 06, 2000.

A poutine in the hand is worth two in the Bush.

-- dinosaur (dinosaur@williams-net.com), March 06, 2000.

"Indeed, Mercer said Monday it's easy to lead victims astray......" I'll drink to that, look at all the doomers, and fear-crazed fools like myself, that now own enough beans and rice to feed China,

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), March 07, 2000.

Gilda: Add all the beans and rice from this family, and we can add India to the list. We made a lot of bean and rice farmers rich I'll bet.

-- Very (Grateful@still.here), March 07, 2000.

A few years ago, Spy Magazine sent a guy around asking congresscritters what their position was on the crisis in Fredonia. They all babbled out a bunch of platitudes.

Fredonia, in case you forgot, is an imaginary country from a Marx Brothers movie.

-- Charles Underwood Farley (chuck@u.farley), March 08, 2000.

Wouldn't it be interesting to know how much food each person bought. Frankly, I really didn't buy much rice, as brown rice doesn't keep well over the long haul. But beans!! I got beans! They're pinto and I don't even like pinto beans. I have wheat, but that's in buckets and one guy told me if it's sealed it will keep for years. I'm leaving it to my grandchildren.

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), March 08, 2000.

OK, pop quiz for US citizens:

Without resorting to a Google search or a run to the local almanac, name all 13 Canadian provinces. (Hint: it's a trick question)

Easier (and non-trick): name 6 Canadian provincial capitals.

Still feeling smug "aboot" other folk's lack of knowledge of our neighbor to the North?

-- DeeEmBee (macbeth1@pacbell.net), March 08, 2000.

But Dee....I'M not running for president! =0)

-- cin (cinlooo@aol.com), March 08, 2000.

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