‘I Wish Iraqi Journalist Muntadhar Al-Zaidi a Very Pleasant Anniversary of the Time He Threw a Shoe at George W. Bush’

On December 20 2022, an Imgur account shared a screenshot that purportedly showed Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi thanking someone who wished him a “very pleasant anniversary of the time he threw a shoe at President George W. Bush” on Twitter:

Two tweets were shown, one from @TheMeagan and the response from @muntazer_zaidi. No date was visible in the screenshot, and the “Bugs Bunny in a tuxedo” template was also known as the “I Wish All X a Very Pleasant Y” meme (or snowclone):

Fact Check

Claim: Screengrab shows Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi responding “thank you” to a meme wishing him a pleasant anniversary of the time he threw a shoe at former U.S. President George W. Bush.

Description: A screenshot has been circulating on the Internet showing a Twitter exchange between Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi and a user wishing him a ‘very pleasant anniversary of the time he threw a shoe at George W. Bush’. The screenshot shows Muntadhar al-Zaidi thanking the user for the wish.


Rating Explanation: The claim is based on a screenshot of a Twitter exchange and has been verified through a direct source, making it reliable. The journalist’s active Twitter account was matched to the one in the meme and the response to the tweet was confirmed on the platform.

I Wish All Lesbians a Very Pleasant Evening refers to a snowclone meme based on an image of Bugs Bunny in a tuxedo which one uses to wish a something, usually a pleasant evening, to a person or group. Originating from a viral Tumblr post, the format gained popularity online in October 2020 as I Wish All X a Very Y snowclone.

We have looked at memes about the incident during which al-Zaidi threw a shoe at former United States President George W. Bush:

On December 14, 2008, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw both of his shoes at United States President George W. Bush during an Iraqi press conference. Bush quickly ducked, avoiding being hit by either of the shoes. The second shoe hit the American flag, and Al-Zaidi was subsequently grabbed, kicked, and hurried out of the room by guards. Effigies of many United States Presidents had long appeared with shoes on them all over the Middle East, but it was not until this event that shoeing had received widespread notability. Since then, there have been many other shoeing incidents on an international scale. Al-Zaidi received a three-year prison sentence, which was reduced by two years. On September 15, 2009, after nine months of incarceration, he was released early because he had no prior criminal record.

Muntadhar al-Zaidi was active on Twitter in December 2022; his handle is @muntazer_zaidi. Likewise, al-Zaidi indeed responded to @themeagan’s tweet on December 18 2022:

A December 19 2022 Imgur post suggested Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi acknowledged a meme wishing him a “very pleasant anniversary of the time he threw a shoe at George W. Bush.” The Twitter exchange was real, and al-Zaidi thanked @themeagan for the well wishes.