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Wink April 28, 2004


Conversational awkwardness struck the White House on Friday, the second such occurrence in as many weeks, as President George W. Bush again proved unable to answer loaded political questions without a script of answers before him. The first (or at least most recent) incident occurred at an April 13 press conference, when the President answered the question "After 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be, and what lessons have you learned from it?" with an extended series of pauses, ums and complaints about not being briefed beforehand. The second incident transpired at a campaign stop at the opening of a Washington, D.C. elementary school, when kindergartener Johnny Twinkesweet is reported to have asked the Commander in Chief, "What's your favorite animal on the See-and-Say?"

Bush, with numerous cameras and eager parents waiting for an answer, had the following reply: "John, I'm sure historians will look back and say, gosh, he could have done it better this way, or that way ... You know, I just—I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this play session, with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hasn't yet. I guess ... the coyote. Is that right?"

The trouble continued a few minutes later when Bush, not realizing that he was still hooked up to a portable microphone, confided in the class's teacher, Ms. Honey, during snack time, "That Johnny is one major league booger-eater." President Bush was ordered by Ms. Honey to write the phrase, "My biggest mistake after 9:11 a.m. [the time class began] was to call Johnny a bad name" 100 times on the chalkboard, a task which he has since relegated to an independent subcommittee.


A surprising new candidate could impact the presidential race in coming months, even if she doesn't mean to. Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Democratic hopeful John Kerry and heiress to the Heinz Ketchup fortune, faced criticism from Republicans last week for being unwilling to publicize the contents of her tax return. Heinz Kerry retorted that as she is not a candidate, she was deserving of privacy. The comment has since caused a grassroots movement among Republicans and third-party politicians to simply replace Kerry with his better endowed spouse on the Democratic ticket.

"Behind every successful man there is both a woman and a load of inherited money Kerry-ing the load. Don't play ketchup—vote Heinz in 04!" proclaimed signs across Washington, D.C. One disguised Republican insider summed up the approach thusly: "Someone that rich just has to be crooked. Lord knows we all are! So, first we hold her up, let her hang there by her womanly vanity for a while, then we take her down hard. The two of them should crash together like a clearance ketchup display in a dilapidated grocery store. Mwhahaha!"


Following in the lead of three USA Today's top editors—Karen Jurgenson, editor, Hal Ritter, managing editor of news and Brian Gallagher, executive editor—who have all retired amid the controversy of star reporter Jack Kelley's alleged fabrication of stories for more than a decade, Boise Weekly's top editor-at-large, Hugh Jardon has announced plans to resign after the scandalous fabrication of the April Fool's story in the April Fool's issue earlier this month. An in-depth investigation and 100-page report into the policies in place that allowed such an egregious abuse of the trusting nature of Idahoans to believe anything they see, hear or smell concluded with Editor-in-Chief Bingo Barnes saying that Jardon "went too far."

"You can confuse people some of the time, but you cannot confuse confusing people all of the time," Barnes said. "Obviously there's a lack of attention at Gannett that is epidemic throughout all their newspapers, but we'll do our best at Boise Weekly to get rid of the riff-raff who continue to do fake stories once a year for April Fool's Day."