Bush poaches some of Benedict’s best lines

April 16, 2008

Pope Benedict and President Bush at the Rose Garden, 16 April 2008/Max Rossi There was a curious reversal of roles when Pope Benedict and President Bush spoke in the Rose Garden today during the pontiff’s visit to the White House. As we put it in a sidebar to the main story :

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, President George W. Bush praised Pope Benedict to the heavens on Wednesday by poaching some of the pontiff’s best-known lines when he welcomed him to the White House.

He also gave the scholarly pope a lesson or two about public speaking, winning loud cheers from the 9,000-strong audience in the Rose Garden, while Benedict elicited only sparse, polite applause for a speech without noticeably sharp edges.

“The speechwriter who picked out those phrases must be very familiar with the pope’s works,” said Rev. Gerald Fogarty, a Roman Catholic Church historian at the University of Virginia. “It was all there, starting with the ‘dictatorship of relativism’ quote from Cardinal Ratzinger’s speech before his election,” he said.

Does Bush sound more like the preacher than Benedict to you? Read the full story and the texts for Benedict and Bush. Or check out our video of the ceremony, which has the key section from Bush’s speech:


P.S. – Bush may have gotten the applause, but he praised Benedict at the end of the pontiff’s speech with the following comment: “Thank you, your holiness. Awesome speech.” Check out the video here.


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[…] head nearly bounced off the desk when I saw this article title come across the Reuters feed was: Bush poaches some of Benedict’s best lines. Of course I can’t resist categorizing this as “Food” […]

Posted by Ramblings of a Retarding Monkey » Blog Archive » Groan | Report as abusive

Use of the word “Poaches” in the headline of this story reveals Reuters to be extraordinarily petty in its effort to characterize the president as some sort of plagiarist. It is obvious to anyone reading your own story the president’s choice of words were indeed open flattery, with zero intent to “poach” anything. Of course, you know this, but somehow are unable to stop yourselves.

This kind of bizzare and childish bias contributes to the reduction of the once-vaunted Reuters to the equivalent of cyber toilet-paper.

Posted by Daniel | Report as abusive

I really want to comment of the stories of the Pope’s visit where the coverage included mention of protestors calling the Pope the antichrist. I respect free speech, but when people disrespect a person or a religion in the name of free speech, why proliferate the error in your stories using the same words? I mean think about how a teacher from England was put on trial and kicked out of country for allowing grade school children to name a teddy bear after a muslim prophet. Though in America we don’t arrest people for insulting each other’s religions, I still feel that it is inappropriate to repeat the insults in a news story. Are you trying to indicate the Reuters approves of such insults? I regret that some fundamentalist cults are so ignorant that they actually would call the Pope such a thing. I’ll pray for their enlightenment because God loves us all the same.

Posted by Sadie | Report as abusive

Sadie, including people’s opinions in a report does not mean that Reuters approves of them. Our role is to inform readers about what is said and done at an event like this. This “anti-Christ” quote stood out because it was so different from the generally positive statements being made about the pope.

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive