The first line of dialogue in Kanye West’s film “Runaway,” after he shuts the TV off on his new found girlfriend/feathered captive is: “First rule in this world baby, don’t pay attention to anything you see in the news.”
One can imagine former President George W. Bush saying those same words to Laura Bush the day he met her, and he seems to have lived by those words throughout his presidency too — except the day that Kanye West said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” during the Katrina debacle. EW reports that in an interview with Matt Lauer (airing on NBC Nov. 8th) Bush revealed his great and continuing disgust over Kanye’s criticism. “He called me a racist,” Bush told Lauer. “And I didn’t appreciate it then. I don’t appreciate it now. It’s one thing to say, ‘I don’t appreciate the way he’s handled his business.’ It’s another thing to say, ‘This man’s a racist.’ I resent it, it’s not true.”
Bush has defended himself in this regard before and though he is many things, it is a wild stretch to call him a racist, whether or not the actions of his administration may be perceived that way. But, ever the dunderhead, Bush writes in his primitively titled memoir, “Decision Points,” that: “I didn’t like hearing people claim that I lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction or cut taxes to benefit the rich. But the suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all-time low.”
So it wasn’t Katrina itself that was the all time low. Or 911. Or the colossal failure/lies about WMD’s. Nor was it going to war on those failures/lies. And it wasn’t presiding over the collapse of the economy, or a score of other horrors, no — it was his his wounded self image, it was Kanye West calling him names.
Lauer pressed him on this very issue, and Bush’s response was characteristically petulant.
Lauer: “You say you told Laura at the time it was the worst moment of your presidency?”
Bush: “Yes. My record was strong, I felt, when it came to race relations and giving people a chance. And it was a disgusting moment.”
Lauer: “I wonder if some people are going to read that, now that you’ve written it, and they might give you some heat for that. And the reason is this — “
Bush [interrupting]: “Don’t care.”
Lauer: “Well, here’s the reason. You’re not saying that the worst moment in your presidency was watching the misery in Louisiana. You’re saying it was when someone insulted you because of that.”
Bush: “No, and I also make it clear that the misery in Louisiana affected me deeply as well. There’s a lot of tough moments in the book. And it was a disgusting moment, pure and simple.”