Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Photograph shows note scrawled by President Bush requesting a bathroom break during a U.N. meeting.
Examples: [Reuters, 2005]
Origins: The above-displayed picture (distributed by the Reuters news agency) was taken by former Reuters staff photographer Rick Wilking in New York during a
There's no reason to doubt the authenticity of the photograph, as Rick Wilking is an established photographer with
According to Gary Hershorn, news editor-photos for the Americas at Reuters, at the time Rick Wilking snapped the pictures he was unaware of the contents of the note President Bush was writing :
. . . Hershorn said that the photojournalist had no idea what Bush was writing on the paper. Wilking assumed the president was taking notes on what some other official was saying.Rick Wilking said that he did observe President Bush pass the note to Secretary Rice and shortly afterwards leave the room and return, and Gary Hershorn opined that the whole thing was likely a matter of protocol:
"Rick had no idea what he was shooting, or what Bush was writing," Hershorn said. "If Rick knew what he was writing we'd have 25 pictures of this, not two."
The photo was taken at 12:08 p.m. and it was Hershorn, about three hours later, who took the trouble to examine the photo closely. It was only then that he noticed the writing and decided to put it on the wire after 4:00.
There's a simple explanation, even a serious one, for all of this, he adds. Bush, he points out, is not used to attending meetings at the U.N. and probably did not know what the protocol was for exiting a room and returning. His question to Rice was "proper" and not all that surprising, "asking someone with more experience there about protocol," he said.(We note that although President George W. Bush's father, former president
In any case, that even U.S. Presidents have bodily functions is hardly the least bit remarkable. The only unusual aspect to these photos is that the public is not generally privy to mentions or visual reminders of that fact.
Last updated: 15 September 2005
This material may not be reproduced without permission.
snopes and the snopes.com logo are registered service marks of snopes.com.