After calling on CNN reporter John King, Bush says, “This is a scripted—” and then breaks into laughter. King, like his colleagues, continues as if nothing untoward is happening. Author and media commentator Eric Boehlert will later say: “[Bush] sort of giggled and laughed. And, the reporters sort of laughed. And, I don’t know if it was out of embarrassment for him or embarrassment for them because they still continued to play along after his question was done. They all shot up their hands and pretended they had a chance of being called on.” Several questions later, Bush pretends to choose from the available reporters, saying: “Let’s see here… Elizabeth… Gregory… April.… Did you have a question or did I call upon you cold?”
Q. I have a question. [Laughter]
The President. Okay. I’m sure you do have a question.
Q. [April D. Ryan, American Urban Radio Networks] Mr. President, as the Nation is at odds over war, with many organizations like the Congressional Black Caucus pushing for continued diplomacy through the U.N., how is your faith guiding you? And what should you tell America—well, what should America do, collectively, as you instructed before 9/11? Should it be “pray,” because you’re saying, let’s continue the war on terror.
… a God-given cue for Mr. Bush to once more cloak his moral arrogance in the verbal vestments of humble religiosity. … Far be it from Ms. Ryan to ask a follow-up question about why virtually every religious denomination in the country, including Mr. Bush’s own, opposes the war. She might as well have been Mary Sunshine (Christine Baranski), the sob sister reporter in ”Chicago,” who tosses Roxie an image-burnishing softball at her press conference by asking, ”Do you have any advice for young girls seeking to avoid a life of jazz and drink?”
The President. “… My faith sustains me because I pray daily. I pray for guidance and wisdom and strength. If we were to commit our troops—if we were to commit our troops— I would pray for their safety, and I would pray for the safety of innocent Iraqi lives as well. One thing that’s really great about our country, April, is there are thousands of people who pray for me who I’ll never see and be able to thank. But it’s a humbling experience to think that people I will never have met have lifted me and my family up in prayer. And for that I’m grateful. That’s—it’s been—it’s been a comforting feeling to know that it’s true. I pray for peace, April. I pray for peace.”
April Ryan’s authorship of the least relevant question in the cascade of irrelevant questions asked on March 6, 2003 didn’t vault her far. She remains the host of AURN’s “White House Report,” broadcasting weekdays from Washington, D.C.
The war on Iraq began thirteen days after that press conference, on March 19, 2003.
Minutemen — Toadies