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In The News
(December 2002)

See a new White House photo album on Barney and Spot

A Pet Sitting: "Presidential little sis Doro Bush Koch apparently decided that for Christmas her brother George deserved something better than just another lousy necktie. So she commissioned local artist Elena Bonafonte-Vidotto to paint a portrait... of his pets. Koch was to present the president and the first lady with the likeness of dogs Barney and Spot and cat India when the extended Bush family gathered at Camp David last night."-- The Washington Post, 12/25/02.

A Shot in the Arm: "President George W. Bush received a smallpox vaccination Saturday, fulfilling a promise he made when he ordered inoculations for about a half-million U.S. troops. He showed no immediate ill effects from the vaccine, which can sicken and in rare cases kill those who get it. An hour after being inoculated in his left arm, Bush was carrying his dog in that arm as the president walked to his helicopter and left for Camp David."--AP, 12/21/02.

Big Hits: "The White House's 'Barney-cam' is a holiday Web hit, drawing 24 million online tourists the first day of its dog's-eye view of the White House Christmas decorations. How can the White House be sure all those hits weren't the self-promoting mischief of Barney himself? 'Barney is what you might call a 'publicity hound,'' spokesman Ari Fleischer deadpanned. 'But he was unable to watch his own video because he hit the 'paws' button."--AP, 12/18/02.

Barney in '04?: "Barney is a winsome protagonist, yapping, panting, gnawing, romping -- acting pretty presidential. It's cute the way his scampering toenails go clickety-click on the polished floors. As you study his antics in the rooms where you are no longer welcome, the realization hits: A dog has taken our place. "-- The Washington Post, lamenting that Barney has become a substitute for the White House and other places visitors can no longer enter due to security concerns, 12/18/02.

He's a Riot: "At the end, the Bushes' dog Barney bounded into the room and straight toward the children (attending a reading by the Bushes of 'A Night Before Christmas). Leary he might bite, they scrambled backward to escape, prompting the president to quickly scoop up his dog. 'Well, it sounded like a good idea at the time,' he shrugged. 'Created a near-riot!' With the black, stubbly legged Scottish terrier safely in his lap, the children surged forward at his invitation for a chance to pet the First Dog and cap their White House visit."-- AP, 12/17/02. Video of the encounter (at approx. 7:50 of the tape).

Furrrrocious: President Bush: "This is Barney and he wanted to come for the end of the story. He won't hurt you. I can see what that scared you. He's pretty ferocious-looking when you first look at him."
First Lady Laura Bush: "He's very sweet."
President Bush: "No, he doesn't bite. He's a little guy..."
Mrs. Bush: "He's just two years old."
President Bush: "He wants to be a reindeer for Christmas."
Mrs. Bush: "He came especially to tell you all 'Merry Christmas.'"
President Bush: "It seemed like a good idea at the time. Created a near-riot!"
--BB, 12/17/02

Relatively Speaking: "Indeed, she has an unusual tie to [President Bush], having given him his Scottish terrier, Barney. Barney's mother, uncle and sister still live with the Whitmans in New Jersey. The fact that Barney has the run of the White House amuses Mrs. Whitman's husband, John, who recognizes that as a relatively liberal Republican, Mrs. Whitman is unlikely to be elected to live there herself. 'My husband keeps saying, 'Ha, ha, ha, for all those people who hate the idea, there's a Whitman in the White House,'' she said."-- The New York Times, in a report in which EPA administrator Christie Whitman denies she plans to leave the Bush administration, 12/14/02.

He's in Charge: "I'M SNIFFING a cover-up. At the highest levels. With a low-level camera... My questions go to specifics of 'Barney Cam,' and a long-held (once written) view that these White House dogs know more than they're saying. Or barking... Despite earlier White House claims, for example, Barney's not wearing a tiny camera, or any camera at all. The video was shot by a human techie with a little camera on a pole. Excuse offered? Barney didn't like wearing a camera. Uh-huh. I'm telling you, this dog's in charge... The video ends with a 'happy holidays' greeting from both dogs, not the cat, and an ominous 'to be continued' message. That tells me this isn't over. And Barney Bush is a dog to watch."-- Philadelphia Daily News columnist John Baer, 12/13/02.

The First Snouter: "Right on cue, the clatter of paws sounded on the polished East Room floor. Barney and Spotty, the Bush family dogs, padded in to meet the press. Spotty, an English springer spaniel descended from former first dog Millie, quickly crossed under the rope to sidle up to reporters. Barney, a 2-year-old black Scottish terrier, nuzzled a red velvet tree skirt before burrowing into a garland of pine cone-studded greenery trailing onto the floor. Come next week, Barney will don a minicam to provide a dog's-eye view of the decorations for the Web." -- The Washington Post, 12/7/02

The Name's Bush -- Barney Bush: "On Monday morning... Barney, is to wander through the White House with a lipstick-sized video camera strapped to his collar. By Tuesday or Wednesday, Barney's dog's-eye view of the decorations will be available on the White House Web site, White House officials acknowledged today that they were not sure if the video would amount to anything more than a lot of feet, or even if Barney was suited for the job. 'We'll either let him go, or if he needs to be directed a bit, we'll get him a guide,' said Jimmy Orr, the director of the White House's Internet operations."-- The New York Times, 12/5/02

We Knew That: "Barney, who is prominently featured on the (White House) Web site, is the most popular of the presidential pets," -- Jimmy Orr, the director of the White House's Internet operations, in a New York Times report, 12/5/02

He's the Wanderer: "The theme this year was partially inspired by Mrs. Bush's love of bird-watching and by the Bush family's own devotion to their pets. The real-life Bush dogs dutifully followed Mrs. Bush, who was clad in a bright red two-piece dress, as she went from room to room. But Spot, an English Springer Spaniel, was decidedly more obedient than Scottish Terrier Barney, who wandered busily on his own agenda." --AP, reporting on First Lady Laura Bush's White House holiday tour, 12/5/02 (See a photo of last year's Barney decoration).

Barney-Cam: "At the White House this year, Christmas has gone to the dogs. Two accompanied first lady Laura Bush on Thursday as she showed off the holiday decorations. One even provides a virtual dog's-eye tour, and a dozen or so are among the papier mache menagerie featured in the presidential pets theme. For the Christmas season, Barney, the Bushes' black Scottish terrier, has a tiny video camera affixed to his collar that will transmit pictures to the White House Web site as he pads around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue." The high-tech fun starts Monday.-- Reuters, 12/5/02

Gray Lady Report: "Bush and Barney Back in the Capital."--The New York Times, front page, 12/2/02

Earlier Barney news

Note: If you spot Barney in the media--or in person--please let BB know all about it!

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