WASHINGTON – Talk about a biting critique of the press.
It seems President Bush's dog Barney wasn't much in the mood for friendly attention during his walk outside the White House on Thursday. So when Reuters reporter Jon Decker reached down to pet the Scottish terrier, the seemingly docile dog snapped at him and bit Decker's right index finger.
Reporter April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks happened to capture the moment on video.
And, naturally, it soon wound up on YouTube. The video comes to an end with a freeze frame on Barney's fangs.
Barney won't have to worry about bothersome reporters much longer. The Bush administration ends in 75 days, and the president is headed back to Texas.
Sally McDonough, a spokeswoman for first lady Laura Bush, said of Barney: "I think it was his way of saying he was done with the paparazzi."
Mrs. Bush asked McDonough to call Decker and make sure he was fine. She reports that Decker "is being a good sport about it all."
The intrepid reporter got bandaged up by the White House doctor.
As he says in the YouTube clip: "I got bit by Barney, and unfortunately it broke the skin, and I have to be on antibiotics for the next few days."
Consider it a cautionary tale. The incoming president, Barack Obama, has promised to buy daughters Malia and Sasha a puppy.