Irish Gonzo Access Journalism and “the devil on my right”



I gave the President my book. He raised an eyebrow. “Who wrote this for ya, Geldof?” he said without looking up from the cover. Very dry. “Who will you get to read it for you, Mr. President?” I replied. No response.

The Time article “Geldof and Bush: Diary From the Road” by Bob Geldof on Bush and Africa is a strange, slightly surreal and very passive/ aggressive example of access journalism at its weirdest since Hunter Thompson decided to blow us all off.

With observations ranging from Bush as a “likeable guy” to the wickedly phrased “many people view him as a walking crime against humanity” (right to his face – Bush apparently looked very hurt at the remark) this meandering article is an absolute must read.

 Geldof acknowledges the positive policy decisions the Bush administration has made regarding Africa but….but… I cannot tell if the nice guy/not stupid view of Bush is the real thing or not.

And that is a problem with access journalism.

Considering the importance that Geldof places on aid to Africa, it’s possible that all of his observations are  best viewed through the prism of his famous Live Aid quote :  “I’ll shake hands with the devil on my left and I’ll shake hands with the devil on my right to get where we need to be” .

 I think Bob might say just about anything to make his point and get the aid that is needed.

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