July 21, 2006

The AP ran an item yesterday about the now-infamous massage Bush gave German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G8 Summit earlier this week. The AP didn't actually do a story about the incident; it did a story about blogs laughing at the incident.

An impromptu back rub that President George W. Bush gave German Chancellor Angela Merkel is now massaging millions of funnybones.

A 5-second video and series of photographs recently posted on YouTube.com and various blogs show Bush surprising Merkel at the G-8 Summit by quickly rubbing the back of her neck and shoulders. The chancellor immediately hunches her shoulders, throws her arms up and grimaces, though she appears to smile as Bush walks away.

The video has been one of the most popular clips on the Web and spawned countless remarks on the particulars of etiquette for world leaders.

In other words, the president's frat-boy tactics aren't necessarily enough to prompt a story in the Associated Press, but dissemination of the video of those tactics is.

Why has the media blown this story off?

-- Guest Post by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report

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