Saturday, June 26, 2004

White House whines about "disrespectful" RTE interview

'THE White House has lodged a complaint with the Irish Embassy in Washington over RTE [Radio Telefís Éireann] journalist Carole Coleman's interview with US President George Bush.

'And it is believed the President's staff have now withdrawn from an exclusive interview which was to have been given to RTE this morning by First Lady Laura Bush.

'It is understood that both RTE and the Department of Foreign Affairs were aware of the exclusive arrangement, scheduled for 11am today. However, when RTE put Ms Coleman's name forward as interviewer, they were told Mrs Bush would no longer be available.

'The Irish Independent learned last night that the White House told Ms Coleman that she interrupted the president unnecessarily and was disrespectful.

'She also received a call from the White House in which she was admonished for her tone.

'And it emerged last night that presidential staff suggested to Ms Coleman as she went into the interview that she ask him a question on the outfit that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern wore to the G8 summit.

Miriam Lord
© Irish Independent