Common Sense

Caught on Camera

By now, we've all seen the pictures and the video... again and again and again.

President Bush trying to leave a press conference in China and encountering a locked door and... oops!

The cameras snapping, the goofy look, the snickers: The leader of the free world embarrassed for all the world to see.

We in the media relish these moments — especially with presidents.

We make very public displays out of their private stumbles.

Like the president's father puking on a Japanese prime minister. Gerald Ford tripping off an airplane.

Catch them. Embarrass them. Laugh at them.

It's the Hollywood star who throws a phone at someone. The Nick Nolte mug shot that would scare anyone.

We feel better, if they look worse.

But I suspect, what's said in jest is very much meant in earnest. If you don't like the president, you relish anything that makes him look silly. So we ignore facts like Gerald Ford being a star athlete or Russell Crowe being a heck of an actor.

We prefer pretty funny and pretty silly.

Me?

I just think it's all... pretty sad.

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