The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Friday, January 24, 2003  

More About “Bug Chasers”
Andrew Sullivan, Please Call Your Office

Ari Fleischer was in rare form today. Below is a portion of today’s media briefing. Massive public recognition to the first reader who can identify “Lester.”

Q: In view of recent wire service reports of an increase -- startling increase in cases of AIDS, HIV and syphilis in New York and California, as well as this morning’s Washington Times page[-]one story, does the President believe there are no such things as "bug chasers"?

Fleischer: I’m not aware of what you’re talking about, Lester.

Q: Page one. These are people in the homosexual community that feel it’s erotic to contract AIDS. And this is what is reported --

Fleischer: I’ve no idea what you’re talking about, Lester.

Q: You don’t read the Washington Times?

Fleischer: Of course, I do. [sic]

Q: You do? Well, then what about it? You must have read the story?

Fleischer: Lester, I expressed yesterday the President’s thoughts about AIDS and people who have AIDS. And the President’s thoughts are that people who have AIDS deserve to be treated with care and with compassion [sic] --

Q: The ones that went after it to get it?

Fleischer: -- that people need to be treated with care and compassion. He is very proud of the fact that his budget has unparalleled amounts of money, both foreign and domestic, to help people with AIDS. [sic]

Q: Yes, but what about the ones that go after it?

Fleischer: You only get two, Lester, and you’ve sure have [sic] had them.

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