Does the Bush administration retaliate against reporters who don't play nice with the White House? Well, let's just say that Carol Coleman, the Washington correspondent for the Irish television network RTE, won't be interviewing President Bush again anytime soon -- or ever, for that matter.
In an interview timed to coincide with Bush's visit to Ireland over the weekend, the veteran reporter questioned the president aggressively about the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the subsequent occupation, interrupting him several times during the 11-minute exhange.
Consider it a sign of how good right-wing Republicans have become at influencing media coverage that David Bossie was a disappointed man on Monday.
The previous evening his conservative advocacy group, Citizens United, placed an advertisement attacking Bill Clinton on seven CBS affiliates around the country, timed to run during an hour-long 60 Minutes interview about the former president's just-published autobiography.
The New York Times put U.S. politicians on notice Tuesday: If you try to mislead the American people with dishonest campaign ads, they'll sic Jim Rutenberg on you, and he'll splash your lies all over the most influential front page in the country. Or some of them, anyway. Especially if you are John Kerry. Not so much if you are President Bush.
But that's not all. The Times also served notice that any politician who goes on national television to try to mislead voters will find Elisabeth Bumiller on his or her tail, and she'll … well, never mind.