Yes, the weekend's shoe-throwing incident was just the kind of hijinks that the Monday headlines need. I say 'hijinks' because W is damn lucky it wasn't a bomb ... or even a cream pie.
I'd bet $50 that Bush has scant knowledge of the fact that the shoe is the lowest insult in the Arab world - it essentially says that you are lower than the dirt beneath one's shoes. For example, when the giant statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled, hundreds of Iraqis swarmed around it and beat it with their shoes. Calling him a "dog" - well, that just sealed the deal.
Other than W's impressive quick duck (gotta admit, that f**ker has cat-like reflexes), I noticed how he immediately tried to play it cool. "It doesn't bother me," he over-insisted, referring perhaps not just to the projectile footwear but to the world's distaste for him in general. "If anyone wants to know the facts, it's a Size 10."
Sir, you are no Ronald Reagan, so don't even try.
Lots of coverage on this but for some real insight, check out this recorded eyewitness account from Atheer Kakan, an Iraqi reporter for The New York Times. (I love his observation, "Bush looked like he had dealt with this sort of thing before.") Atheer's recount of the dangerously high tension in the room post-incident is flat out scary.
Meanwhile, Muntader al-Zaidi, the incensed journalist - now shoeless - is being held by Iraqi authorities. While he has not been formally charged, he faces up to seven years in prison if convicted of committing an act of aggression against a visiting head of state. (He's also become an instant folk hero and won an award for courage in Libya.)
Bush should expect more of the same - and not just abroad.