Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mamas, Don't Let Your Cowboys Grow Up to Be Babies

Ex-presidente Vicente "Fat Tony" Fox, the American-educated former executive for the American Coca-Cola Company, has written his life's story (co-authored with his American political consultant Rob Allyn) about how, when he was president, he kept it real by wearing cowboy boots. He's currently on a book tour in America. Why not Mexico? Because the book is written in American, not Mexican. After six years of Fox's rule, the adult literacy numbers apparently aren't high enough to justify publishing a book here.

Earlier in the week, Fox sat down to pimp his book with Telemundo's Rubén González Luengas, masterfully product-placing the book under his chin for the duration of the interview (whatever he's paying Allyn, it's worth every penny). Back home, there have been a series of unpleasant accusations made that Fox spent much of the last six years lining his pockets. But Fox was there to talk about the book, and the book doesn't talk about any of that stuff.

Since 2001, Americans have rarely seen journalists ask a president uncomfortable questions,* while Mexican presidents aren't used to being questioned at all, so when González brought Foxes (allegedly) ill-gotten gains, everyone was suddenly in uncharted territory. As always, Fox was unflappable.

Fox lashed out at journalist Rubén González Luengas in the 17 October interview in studios in Los Angeles, telling him, “You are offensive, a bad interviewer, a liar...” As he stormed off, Fox shouted at a member of staff: “Can you see why they bring me here?”

You can see it (in Mexican) here:



[* True story: at the place I used to work, one program aired an hour-long tribute to Bush's heroic leadership on Sept. 11 (the day he spent the morning reading to schoolkids and the afternoon hopscotching around the country like a panicked bunny rabbit). The first two lines of the transcript of their interview with the president were:
    Bush: "I'm not making any news here, okay?"
    Correspondent: "Understood."]

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