NPR Game Show Aired Fake Interview With Bush Audio Book, Smeared Bush as White House Drunk

Since National Public Radio somehow missed out on an author interview with George W. Bush -- they did portray his presidency as a horror film -- NPR's Chicago-based weekend game show Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me!   mocked the former president by "interviewing" clips from his audio book, or as they called it, "A Fake Interview with a Real President." Bush's decision to tell about how he gave up drinking after his 40th birthday in 1986 is apparently a lie, if you're a public-radio comedian. Game-show host Peter Sagal mocked Bush as a drunk in the White House (MP3 AUDIO)

SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. With President George W. Bush's memoir, "Decision Points," coming out this week, naturally we reached out to invite the president on for an interview. Now this was the response we got, for real, from his former press secretary Dana Perino, quote, "That's hysterical. You guys are so funny," and then a smiling emoticon. So instead, we'll be interviewing George W. Bush's audio book. So welcome to WAIT WAIT, this is a big honor for us. Now, you tell some great stories in the book. Tell us about your first week as president.

BUSH: I had a few beers with the guys on Monday night. On Tuesday, I’d fix my favorite after dinner drink, Benedictine and brandy. I had a couple of bourbon-and-Sevens after I put Barbara and Jenna to bed on Wednesday.

SAGAL: Well, yeah, you've earned a celebration, I guess. But then you got down to business, right? Tell us what you did next.

BUSH: Thursday and Friday were beer-drinking nights. (Laughter)

SAGAL: Well that's remarkable, that's some first week. How did you manage to fit all that in while being president?

BUSH:  You put your teeth on the edge of the mug, tilt your head back and the beer goes down your throat.

SAGAL: There's a really touching story, Mr. President's audio book, in your book about your meeting your wife. What went through your mind the first time you saw the future Laura Bush?

BUSH: Here's the head and here's the body. It's a girl.

SAGAL: President Bush's audio book, thank you so much for joining us on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

But I got to say, you've gone from the nation's highest office to a quiz show on NPR, of all places. So what's going through your head right now?

BUSH: Bush, what did you do wrong?

SAGAL: Thank you so much. President Bush's audio book joining us. (Soundbite of applause)

This is a bit of a trend. It mirrored a David Letterman routine that ABC's This Week highlighted on their "Sunday Funnies" segment this weekend:

DAVID LETTERMAN:  Great presidential memoirs. Watch.

NARRATOR (FEMALE):  "Personal Memoirs," by Ulysses S Grant.

NARRATOR (MALE): One side or the other had to yield principles they deemed dearer than life before it could be brought to an end.

NARRATOR (FEMALE): "Decision Points," by George W. Bush.

BUSH: I'm drunk at the dinner table.

NARRATOR (FEMALE): This has been "Great Moments in Presidential Memoirs."

Can you imagine these networks cracking a bunch of jokes about President Obama's youthful coke-snorting? It might get in the way of their presenting him as bound for Mount Rushmore.

PS: This is the same NPR game show that joked in 2006 that Karl Rove ordered the killing of liberal Rep. Jack Murtha, and that Rove's rear end is Dick Cheney's undisclosed location. In 2009, Obama adviser David Axelrod appeared on the show and joked that one of the contenders for White House dog was conservative beauty queen Carrie Prejean.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis