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November 6, 2008
International reaction to U.S. election varies

The U.S. election has received substantial coverage abroad given widespread interest.

Read our Blogwatch post on foreign coverage: International journalists swarm U.S. for election.

Susan Caskie, international editor of The Week, speaks with Martin Savidge about lukewarm or negative coverage of Barack Obama’s victory in Iraq and Afghanistan, how foreign newspapers are characterizing George W. Bush and quirky global headlines about the election.


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Dear “American Says”,

Ahhhh. I get it! So we’re projecting our own internal myths onto our president, in order to anthropomorphize them and bring them down to earth. This is because we have a human need to make the president feel more like us. It helps us understand their incomprehensible greatness.

In GW’s case, he was such a colossal intellectual giant that we needed to bring him down to earth, in order that us mere humans could understand him. Hence we created the “drinking buddy” myth to make W seem more normal and like us. So we’re calling W a “drinking buddy” even though he doesn’t drink.

And so when we refer to Obama as a “leader’, even though he has never lead, we are saying that he’s a really a blank screen on which we project all of our dreams and desires onto.


The drinking comment isn’t about actual drinking; it’s a common expression referring to someone as the “kind of guy you’d have a beer with” meaning a down-to-earth, jovial fellow that the average Joe Six Pack, as we call him, would befriend. It’s a bit like saying, the presidency is a personal popularity contest not a selection for the best qualified.


La Republica’s “drinking buddy” comment is obviously based on political bias and false stereotyping of GW Bush, who quit drinking alcohol 22 years ago. I think that’s shameful reporting. It would also be shameful if one was to refer to Obama as a “snorting buddy”, as he gave that up years ago. Since the media has laid off Obama for his addictive habits, I think it’s only fair to lay off Bush’s.

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