A source at the Washington Post tells E&P that the paper is considering it for prominent play Friday morning, in the context that, at least in some minds, it raises questions about overall perception of the U.S. at the United Nations, right or wrong. Reuters reports extremely strong interest in the photo today.
The fact is, according to Reuters -- and this has not been widely reported -- President Bush did indeed take a bathroom break after passing the note to Rice.
This apparently raised some eyebrows around the room, because American representatives (among others) have a reputation for suddenly bolting, though normally for a far different reason than this latest one. Fair or not, the European press has already had a field day with the photo, often centering on the notion that Bush had to ask Rice for permission.
The Times of London, for example, ran no less than three separate articles about it on its Web site, one at the top of its front page. (It's a Murdoch paper.) One headline reads: "Excuse me Condi, can I go to the bathroom?" Another story, believe it or not, opens: "The need to relieve oneself diplomatically has on occasion determined the fate of nations." The third discusses the sordid history of the particulatar lavatory in question, and contains this passage: "Medical experts said that the 59-year-old President was wise not to wait any longer."
The headline at the BBC news site suggested that Bush had been "caught short" at the U.N. summit. The Irish Examiner headline? "To Pee or Not to Pee, That is the Question." Der Spiegel in Germany translated a bathroom break" as "eine Toiletten-Pause."
And, of course, it made The Daily Show back in the U.S. late Thursday night.
i went on google and tried to find the stories mentioned in the e&p quote... i couldn't find the second times article, but i did find this editorial calling for mandatory bathroom breaks. and i took my blog title from this clever sun headline.¶