Bush On Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journo: “I Don’t Know What His Beef Is”

“Amusing,” “interesting” and “weird” is how Pres. Bush, in an interview with ABC News’s Martha Raddatz, described the incident over the weekend during which an Iraqi television reporter threw two shoes at him during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Maliki in Baghdad. (Politico’s Mike Allen reports: “Journalists at the scene said the hurler was Muntadar al-Zaidi, a reporter for Al-Baghdadia TV, an independent satellite channel based in Cairo.”)

In the below footage, you’ll hear an MSNBC reporter explain that the “hurler” “screamed, ‘This is a farewell kiss, you dog,’” as he launched the shoes at Bush and that “in the Arab culture, the sole of the shoe is considered an insult. So this was the reporter’s way of insulting President Bush during his surprise visit to Baghdad.”

UPDATE: Also from that moments-after-ducking-the-shoes interview with ABC’s Raddatz, during an exchange about Bush’s legacy:

PRES. BUSH: …one of the major theaters against Al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq…

RADDATZ: But not until after the U.S. invaded…

BUSH: Yeah, that, that’s right. So what?

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.