The Guardian

Seems as if the Guardian has pulled the story from their website about advocating the assassination of President Bush if re-elected. Glad I save the whole thing, and, since they pulled it, I will post the whole thing:

———————

Dumb show

Charlie Brooker Saturday October 23, 2004 The Guardian

Heady times. The US election draws ever nearer, and while the rest of the world bangs its head against the floorboards screaming “Please God, not Bush!”, the candidates clash head to head in a series of live televised debates. It’s a bit like American Idol, but with terrifying global ramifications. You’ve got to laugh.

Or have you? Have you seen the debates? I urge you to do so. The exemplary BBC News website (www.bbc.co.uk/news) hosts unexpurgated streaming footage of all the recent debates, plus clips from previous encounters, through Reagan and Carter, all the way back to Nixon versus JFK.

Watching Bush v Kerry, two things immediately strike you. First, the opening explanation of the rules makes the whole thing feel like a Radio 4 parlour game. And second, George W Bush is… well, he’s… Jesus, where do you start?

The internet’s a-buzz with speculation that Bush has been wearing a wire, receiving help from some off-stage lackey. Screen grabs appearing to show a mysterious bulge in the centre of his back are being traded like Top Trumps. Prior to seeing the debate footage, I regarded this with healthy scepticism: the whole “wire” scandal was just wishful thinking on behalf of some amateur Michael Moores, I figured. And then I watched the footage.

Quite frankly, the man’s either wired or mad. If it’s the former, he should be flung out of office: tarred, feathered and kicked in the nuts. And if it’s the latter, his behaviour goes beyond strange, and heads toward terrifying. He looks like he’s listening to something we can’t hear. He blinks, he mumbles, he lets a sentence trail off, starts a new one, then reverts back to whatever he was saying in the first place. Each time he recalls a statistic (either from memory or the voice in his head), he flashes us a dumb little smile, like a toddler proudly showing off its first bowel movement. Forgive me for employing the language of the playground, but the man’s a tool.

So I sit there and I watch this and I start scratching my head, because I’m trying to work out why Bush is afforded any kind of credence or respect whatsoever in his native country. His performance is so transparently bizarre, so feeble and stumbling, it’s a miracle he wasn’t laughed off the stage. And then I start hunting around the internet, looking to see what the US media made of the whole “wire” debate. And they just let it die. They mentioned it in passing, called it a wacko conspiracy theory and moved on.

Yet whether it turns out to be true or not, right now it’s certainly plausible – even if you discount the bulge photos and simply watch the president’s ridiculous smirking face. Perhaps he isn’t wired. Perhaps he’s just gone gaga. If you don’t ask the questions, you’ll never know the truth.

The silence is all the more troubling since in the past the US news media has had no problem at all covering other wacko conspiracy theories, ones with far less evidence to support them. (For infuriating confirmation of this, watch the second part of the must-see documentary series The Power Of Nightmares (Wed, 9pm, BBC2) and witness the absurd hounding of Bill Clinton over the Whitewater and Vince Foster non-scandals.)

Throughout the debate, John Kerry, for his part, looks and sounds a bit like a haunted tree. But at least he’s not a lying, sniggering, drink-driving, selfish, reckless, ignorant, dangerous, backward, drooling, twitching, blinking, mouse-faced little cheat. And besides, in a fight between a tree and a bush, I know who I’d favour.

On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod’s law dictates he’ll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr – where are you now that we need you? (empasis mine)

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19 Responses to “The Guardian”

  1. M. Lively says:

    What is a Brooking? He must have fallen asleep in the fog and it clouded his lack of a brain. Thank goodness for tony Blair. Where is Margret Thatcher when we need her. The Brits should examine this guy and lock him in a padded cell. Dangerouos, he is.

  2. Brooke says:

    Charlie Brooker is a HERO!!! that’s the best article I’ve ever read! Thanks for posting!

  3. Temujin says:

    Nice one: this article should be saved for all time.

  4. Mission Impossible says:

    Dear Mr. Brooker,

    You are the kind of strident pseudo-intellectual that has brought the image of my country (England) so very low in the eyes of most around this world (unless, that is, you happen to spend most of your life in nightclubs). Your style of wild iconoclasm would not have been tolerated even 15 years ago.

    You think you are smart, right? Actually, your recently published words about the upcoming American election are the product of a dumb and immature mind. You are “shouting from the terraces” just to capture attention.

    But, be careful the attention you seek is not just from anyone. Do you really want a following of bi-sexual losers?

    You haven’t really bothered to get to know George W. Bush. What would you rather have: Muslim Prayer Calls blaring out of loudspeakers at the crack of dawn, all over Manchester? Saudi Arabians calling the political shots around Europe? You’ve simply absorbed the silliness, most typically heard in trendy pubs & clubs around Manchester City Centre. Friends with Mr. Wilson (ex. Granada TV) are we?.

    Nah, you are an underserving descendent of authentically Left Wing people. You are ill-mannered for a start. So, you cannot be truly left-wing – a political movement in Britain that sprang out of the Methodist Church. You are in fact manic, and possess a nihilism, which you clearly prepared to project onto the culture and nation that has hitherto sustained you. What for? Otherwise bored? Nothing better to do?

    No sense in me asking you to feel shame over this silly stunt (i.e., openly wishing for the assassination of one of America’s finest Presidents) because shame is something either you don’t understand, or cannot afford to contemplate. If you don’t shout from the terraces, then why else would anyone read you?

    If you don’t understand the potential consequences of such attitudes and comments in the public domain, then you are either stupid, totally immature, or very dangerous.

    You need time to reflect my friend, before you do more damage. Excessive masturbation might be the cause of your problem. Please find yourself a real woman (i.e., one that has not already been brainwashed by P-Cee and militant feminism) … admittedly a very rare creature in and around grim Manchester.

    Yours truly,

    Mission Impossible.

  5. Paul Smith says:

    I would congratulate Mr Brooker for saying what needed to be said. I’m a Brit living in the US at the moment and it’s rather frightening to see a media so incompetent handle the issue of whether a retarded man should get another chance to ruin the country.

  6. Stevie Nichts says:

    Google has the original article in its cache. It may be found here:

    http://tinyurl.com/4lpkc

    To those who applaud Mr. Booker: you cannot ever again pretend to occupy any sort of moral high ground. Shame on you, if in fact you still possess the ability to feel shame.

  7. “Charlie Brooker apologises for any offence caused by his comments relating to President Bush in his TV column, Screen Burn. The views expressed in this column are not those of the Guardian. Although flippant and tasteless, his closing comments were intended as an ironic joke, not as a call to action – an intention he believed regular readers of his humorous column would understand. He deplores violence of any kind.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguide/tvradio/story/0,,1335307,00.html

    It seems clear that all concerned realised that the final sentence went too far.

    To be honest I’m surprised that the previous paragraph didn’t get more attention. I’m not familiar with Brooker’s writing but I kind of got the impression that he’s not very keen on President Bush…

  8. Ah sorry, I got here from another link, should have read your front page before posting.

  9. Not a problem, Aalia. Finding that story of the”apology” with a link to my post in a spanish paper was even more of a hoot šŸ™‚

    You are correct that the apology hasn’t got that much play, because Brooker does have a history, including the comment “Bushlerites.”

  10. Randall Smith says:

    How is it possible to reply to the piss-ant wanker? I could not find a link to e-mail the toad.

  11. red state says:

    Mr. Brooker:

    I wonder if you really pray.(Or was this a sly way of making a joke of praying?) I believe God answers prayer. And sometimes for our own good; He says ‘No’. I didn’t want Clinton as a president because he was going to raise taxes and he proposed ‘Don’t ask/Don’t Tell’ in the military. Clinton was a disappointment to the presidency with his “because I could” attitude in the Oval Office (typical of an elitist). After reading what I could on the 9/11 Commission Report, I believe Clinton’s administration (Dick Morris confirms this – he just wasn’t interested in dealing with terrorism) missed opportunities to squash the terrorists and treated terrorism as an international legal situation rather than a war. (I’d like to see you try to negotiate with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi)

    But you know what the American people learned? They didn’t want his type in the oval office for the next four years and possibly for the next 20 years. We learned a very real hard lesson about our National Security. Because without it; it affects are well being; families; economy (joblessness – who’s going to invest if there is uncertainity; travel; insurance; it even affected the global economy as well).

    So please, don’t be banging your head while your praying. When we pray for His Will to be done; He knows what is best for us and especially if we entreat him to bring the right person in that office. The scriptures do say to pray for peace and our leaders. It’s really not bad having a President who prays and knows who is in control and is steadfast.

    Scripture also says – Ps 14:1&5 “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt. . . . .” . . “There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.”

  12. Joel says:

    Besides the idiotic cry for assasination, Brooker’s claim of a wire is absurd. Is Charlie so stupid as to believe that the American media wouldn’t be all over that like a bad smell?

  13. Bart Simpson says:

    I wonder what the reaction would be if a “humorous column” in an Israeli newspaper made a joke about assissinating Yassir Arafat. I doubt it would be considered an “ironic joke,” and I’m sure the Guardian would be among the first newspapers to deplore such a “call to action.”

  14. menwithhill says:

    Dear Temujin,

    “Dear Mr Brooker

    You are the kind of strident pseudo-intellectual that has brought the image of my country (England) so very low in the eyes of most around this world”

    The only people who have brought England (sic, shouldn’t that be Britain, or don’t the Celts count?) to the state of worldwide opprobrium in which we find ourselves today are the arch appeaser, Blair, and his hopelessly inadequate sidekick, Hoon.

    “Do you really want a following of bi-sexual losers?”

    If it’s a choice of bi-sexual losers and the likes of you, I know what my preference would be.

    “…..of one of America’s finest Presidents”

    Stop! Stop! My sides are splitting!

    “I cannot tell a lie.” – George Washington
    “Fourscore and seven years ago….” – Abraham Lincoln
    “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” – Franklin D Roosevelt
    “Ask not what your country can do for you….” – John F Kennedy
    “Tear down this wall!” – Ronald Reagan
    “The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country.” – George W. Bush

  15. menwithhill says:

    “When we pray for His Will to be done…..”

    This raises an interesting question, just what would Jesus be doing today?

    1. Spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the subjugation of an already traumatised people and killing 15,000 of them in the process.

    2. Diverting the same resources and zeal towards the elimination of AIDS in Africa or providing clean drinking water for the people of that benighted and ignored continent?

  16. jason says:

    I have to say, it looked to me like he was wearing something. His actions seemed totally consistent with those of somebody being fed lines – say a few words, wait a little, say a few more. Some of you might say this is just the way Bush rolls, but apparently a NASA imaging analyst thinks differently:

    http://images.salon.com/news/feature/2004/10/29/bulge/story.jpg
    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/10/29/bulge/index.html

  17. What could be worse than Bush in a second term? Two words: President Cheney.

  18. bloodypinko says:

    why does no one from the right have a sense of humour (and the extreme left as well) if any of you had read any of the other stuff written by charlie brooker (in the tv guide section of the paper) you would realise that this was a joke that you all failed to get. a

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