The gaffe was unearthed by enterprising right-wing bloggers, who, following minutes of research, cried foul after a blog post appeared at Shakesville. The Post, "Bush admits he's a know-nothing warmonger that desires hot squirrel love," reportedly was from a press conference in Southern California with President George W. Bush. Mainstream media sources quickly jumped on the post, which has now been reported on throughout the globe.
Portions of the "press conference" include:
Q. Mr. Bush, what are your thoughts on the wildfires in Southern California?
Bush: Well, it upsets me that Democrats have politicized these fires. This has al-Qaeda written all over it and Iran had better step up and take responsibility. If they don't, or deny setting these fires, we'll have to take the next steps.
Q. What would those next steps be?
Bush: I don't know. I'll know when I know and then, we'll all know. but it's not for you to ask. It's a national security issue obviously.
Q. What can you say to those affected by fire in the afflicted areas?
Bush: Well, tomorrow's another day. Tomorrow, there's a chance these people's stuff may not be on fire. That's what we call progress.
Q. How will this affect the environment?
Bush: You see, once again, this has gotten political. The environment is a political issue, best left to be discussed by politicians. In fact, better not to even talk about it. National security issues. Iran will have to pay the price obviously. Mostly, I worry about the poor squirrels. Because I love me some hot squirrel lovin'.
The post was immediately picked up by the Associated Press in the article: "Bush says Iran will pay for wildfires; admits to squirrel lovin'."
Sensing a scoop, the entire staff of the National Review flew to California, where they said they found no evidence of a press conference.
"We normally know about these things," said NRO editor Jonah Goldberg. "We're 65 percent sure that this press conference was fictional and that the parties involved need to face high-treason charges."
When asked if that meant they should be hanged, Goldberg demurred. "Hey, I just said high-treason, ok? Make of it what you will."
Other high-profile right-wing bloggers quickly jumped on the controversy.
"Treason? Indeed," wrote Instapundit Glenn Reynolds.
Noted Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin refused to comment, saying her thoughts will all be in her upcoming book, "Shakesville: Treasonous Mussolini Hitler-Nazis that will Enslave and Murder Everyone While Raising Taxes."
The controversy has even crossed over to environmental groups. Timmy Johnson, head of the United Squirrel Front said the post, whether true or not, was disturbing.
"We just won't stand for this," said Johnson.
Melissa McEwan, the Catholic-bashing owner of Shakesville, has thus far been silent on the matter. Shakesville contributors have in the past been chastised for supposedly inventing interviews, including a recent interview with "Fibby," the defibrillator currently residing in Dick Cheney. Post author Space Cowboy has said he stands by that interview, however.
Shakesville contributor William K. Wolfrum did announce, however that immediately following the outbreak of the controversial post, he did receive an e-mail message from Col. Steven A. Boylan, the personal spokesman for Gen. David G. Petraeus:
You guys are big jerks. You know that? Jerks. Big ol' jerks. And commies. We'll show you. We'll show you all. Don't mess with us or you'll pay. Pay I say. Me, Col. Steven A. Boylan, that's what I say. To you. Haha.
Steven A. Boylan
Colonel, US Army
Public Affairs Officer
Reached for comment, Boylan said he never sent an e-mail like that, and that he never uses e-mail and doesn't really understand technology.
"Me, send an e-mail? Ha. I repeat. Ha." said Boylan. "But when reporters start acting like government officials, rather than vice-versa, well, we all know that Iran is behind it. Nonetheless, we demand that those involved with this pretend press conference story be immediately fired and given a big promotion."
More on this story as it develops.