Almost a year ago, the media had a field day with the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former President George W. Bush.
On Tuesday, Muntazer al-Zaidi was in Paris promoting his campaign for what he calls "victims of the US occupation in Iraq," and a fellow journalist threw a shoe at him.
Given the media's fascination with Zaidi's highly-publicized demonstration last year, it will be very interesting to see how the press will respond when the shoe is literally on the other foot (video embedded below the fold with additional commentary, h/t Story Balloon):
To give readers an idea of the media's fascination with the original shoe throwing incident, a Google search of "Man throws shoe at Bush" produced 1.2 million results.
As for LexisNexis, similar search terms produced almost 1,000 reports in the days immediately following the event.
CNN logged 34 such reports, with MSNBC and Fox News in second with eight, followed by ABC and NPR with seven, and CBS and NBC with six.
Will Zaidi on the receiving end of a shoe toss be as newsworthy?
Also of interest is not just who reports this, but how.
Consider the tone of the Agence France-Presse article published hours ago:
A protester who presented himself as an Iraqi journalist in exile hurled a shoe Tuesday at the colleague who one year ago found fame hurling his own footwear at then US president George W. Bush. [...]
Following the commotion, the news conference continued with Zaidi taking questions about his famous assault on Bush on December 14 last year, which was shown around the world and made him a hero in the Arab world. [...]
Zaidi's shock action was rebroadcast repeatedly around the world and made him an instant hero among Iraqis and others who felt that Arab honour had been violated by the US occupation of Iraq.
Introducing his guest at the packed Paris press conference, the president of the local Arab Press Club, Kamal Tarabay, said Zaidi's "audacious gesture" made him a "hero of the resistance against the occupier."
See what I mean?
This piece presented Zaidi as practically a hero.
With this in mind, it will be interesting to see if other media outlets that cover this incident use it as another opportunity to praise Zaidi as they bash Bush.