Paul McCartney's White House Concert, Sans Slam at Bush, Airs Tonight on PBS

Most PBS stations tonight will air Paul McCartney: In Performance at the White House, a concert performed back on Wednesday, June 2 at which the ex-Beatle delivered a cheap shot at former President George W. Bush: “After the last eight years, it's great to have a President who knows what a library is.” (Earlier NB post)

Wednesday's USA Today noted PBS won't air that comment which came after the Obama family had left the East Room, but McCartney told the paper's Edna Gundersen his snarky remark earned “amazing support” as “I got: 'Yeah, man, way to go, rock 'n' roll.” McCartney also added a fresh slam: “And I know George Bush knows what a library is: It's a place to keep DVDs.”

In another USA Today story, the British rocker admired the Obama family: “I'm a very big fan.”

From Gunderson's July 28 “Life” section article:
...Viewers won't catch McCartney's controversial crack, snipped from the special: "After the last eight years, it's great to have a president who knows what a library is."

The program had ended and Obama had left the room when McCartney uttered the zinger that riled conservatives, including House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio, who called upon McCartney to apologize.

McCartney planned to slip it into the concert but never found an opening. At the close, he mentioned the joke to Dave Grohl (one of the performers), who urged him to take the shot.

"What didn't get reported was the amazing support I got: 'Yeah, man, way to go, rock 'n' roll!' " McCartney says. "I got a lot of that. ... Come on, where's your sense of humor?

"And I know George Bush knows what a library is: It's a place to keep DVDs."
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center