EMBARRASSING….Via Atrios, it appears that the White House is furious over the interview that Carole Coleman did with George Bush on Irish TV Friday night. In fact, they’re so furious about the fact that Coleman dared to follow up with critical questions that they’ve withdrawn a planned interview with Laura Bush.

But here’s the kicker: all the questions were submitted in advance. Bush knew exactly what she was going to ask.

It’s unbelievable. We have a president who apparently feels uncomfortable doing an interview with a foreign journalist unless he knows beforehand what she’s going to ask, and then behaves childishly when she actually follows up and insists on genuine answers to the prescripted questions instead of the usual talking point pabulum that the American press laps up. How dare she interrupt the president of the United States and demand real answers!

Can you imagine Tony Blair refusing to do an interview unless the questions were submitted in advance? Or John Kerry. Or Bill Clinton. Or George Bush Sr. Or Margaret Thatcher. Or pretty much any other world leader of the past 20 years?

It’s just embarrassing. Was this really the best the Republican party could do in 2000?

POSTSCRIPT: See also this year-old post for a bit more discussion about the difference between how European and American journalists treat their leaders. Bush just isn’t accustomed to being treated as simply another citizen who’s required to account for his actions.

And once again, here’s a link to the interview. It starts at the 15:00 mark.

UPDATE: Here’s a transcript of the interview.