Reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg gets in some mockery of President Bush in her Sunday "Reporters Notebook" on Bush's visit to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Sydney, Australia ("Bush Irks Australians, but They Can't Look Away").
"There was good news and bad news for Mr. Bush in his foray this week to the land down under. The good news is that Australians love Americans. The bad news is that they do not seem to love the American president."
Stolberg indulged her liberal readers with Bush fulfilling some old stereotypes, and using them as a jumping-off point to show how the war has made Bush unpopular, even in Australia.
"And Mr. Bush, master of the malapropism, gave his critics fodder. During a speech on Friday, he thanked Prime Minister John Howard 'for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit' - a slip of the tongue that he quickly corrected, lest anyone think he was attending a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
"Later, he mangled his pronunciation of 'Australian,' rendering it much closer to 'Austrian.' In anticipation of an Australian beef lunch, he proclaimed, 'I'm a meat guy.'"
"Of course, it is the president's policies, not his food preferences, that irk Australians.
"Mr. Bush is unpopular here largely because of the war in Iraq, but he also suffers a bit from guilt by association, for his close friendship with Mr. Howard, whose approval ratings are not much better than Mr. Bush's."