Waking up this morning and turning on the TV to see a British gentleman leaning over a boorish American, the Brit listening patiently as the American talked through his food, my first thought was "Why the hell is CNN running clips from that crappy 80s sitcom Mr. Belvedere?"
Of course it was Tony Blair, not Mr. Belvedere. Mr. Belvedere would have politely but firmly corrected the president on his misuse of the word irony. (Even Bob Uecker, the Bush character in Mr. Belvedere, could tell you that there's nothing ironic about having to ask Syria to restrain Hezbollah.)
Maybe Blair is more like Cadbury to Bush's Richie Rich. Of course we all wish Blair were as wise as Alfred and Bush as capable as Batman.
In any case, the newsworthy(?) expletive, an encore to Bush and Cheney calling New York Times' Adam Clymer an asshole during 2000, was no accident at all. Bush knew the mic was on. But we're supposed to think it's an authentic moment, that we've heard the real Bush. This somehow gives the opinion expressed more power. It's pretty clever - and it works. (Loads more people, including me, are now asking what the hell Kofi Annan intends to do.) It's the best way to strike a hit against opponents like The New York Times and United Nations.