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President Bush's 'all-time low'? Kanye West's dis on Katrina telethon

Awkward: "Bush doesn't care about black people," Kanye West, right, said in his segment with Mike Myers . "I didn't appreciate it then. I don't appreciate it now," Bush retorted in a recent interview.
Awkward: "Bush doesn't care about black people," Kanye West, right, said in his segment with Mike Myers . "I didn't appreciate it then. I don't appreciate it now," Bush retorted in a recent interview. (YouTube)

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By Lisa de Moraes
Thursday, November 4, 2010

Former president George W. Bush told NBC News's Matt Lauer that the "all-time low" of his eight years in the White House came when notorious loose cannon Kanye West appeared on a Hurricane Katrina relief fundraiser and said, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

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Really -- all-time low?

"You say you told Laura at the time it was the worst moment of your presidency?" Lauer asked Bush in a taped interview, citing a passage in Bush's new book, "Decision Points," which officially goes on sale Tuesday.

"Yes. My record was strong, I felt, when it came to race relations and giving people a chance. And -- it was a disgusting moment," Bush responded to Lauer in the interview, which NBC is holding to air in prime time Monday.

A clearly agitated West made the comment about Bush on national TV on Sept. 2, 2005, during a telethon to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina, which had devastated parts of the Gulf Coast.

"Were you watching?" Lauer asked Bush about the fundraiser.

"Nope," Bush responded, according to a transcript issued by NBC.

That's too bad, because it is one of The TV Column's Top-10 TV Moments Ever:

The rapper was among the celebs and singers participating in the one-hour special, produced by NBC News and run on the NBC broadcast network, as well as MSNBC and CNBC, because, hey, the numbers couldn't be any worse than usual on a Friday night and it was hoped they'd raise a chunk of change for a good cause, the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Faith Hill sang "There Will Come a Time," Aaron Neville performed Randy Newman's "Louisiana 1927," and so on.

West was not scheduled to perform; he was one of the blah-blah-blahers, who would read from scripts prepared by the network about the impact of Katrina on southern Louisiana and Mississippi.

West and actor Mike Myers had been paired to appear about halfway through the show. Their assignment: Take turns reading a script describing the breach in the levees around New Orleans.


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