Still Completely Unqualified and Wholly Unprepared
The Obama administration is still making a great impression on the British:
While not exactly a film buff, Gordon Brown was touched when Barack Obama gave him a set of 25 classic American movies – including Psycho, starring Anthony Perkins on his recent visit to Washington.
Alas, when the PM settled down to begin watching them the other night, he found there was a problem.
The films only worked in DVD players made in North America and the words "wrong region" came up on his screen. Although he mournfully had to put the popcorn away, he is unlikely to jeopardise the special relationship – or "special partnership", as we are now supposed to call it – by registering a complaint.
A Downing Street spokesman said he was "confident" that any gift Obama gave Brown would have been "well thought through," but referred me to the White House for assistance on the "technical aspects".
A White House spokesman sniggered when I put the story to him and he was still looking into the matter when my deadline came last night.
By the way, when Obama's unlikely gift was disclosed, a reader emailed me to ask if Clueless was among the films. Funnily enough, it was not.
Brown, on the other hand, presented a rather more thoughtful gift to the American President in the form of a penholder carved from the timbers of an anti-slavery ship. The sister ship, in fact, of the one that was broken up and turned into the desk in the Oval Office.
Needless to say, had the Bush administration done something so blockheaded, and tawdry, the howling ridicule would be deafening. As Obama's "comrades in the mainstream media exaggerate the positives and ignore the negatives", hardly anybody who doesn't read blogs will even know about it. John Hinderaker puts it very well:
Can you imagine the Democrats' reaction if the Bush White House had given a European head of state a set of DVDs that can only be played on North American machines? It would have been conclusive proof of Bush's provincialism, lack of sensitivity to our allies' sensibilities, ignorance of the wider world, techno incompetence, failure to appreciate the superiority of European civilization, blah blah blah. That's how it would have been reported and editorialized on in every newspaper. So let's check tomorrow's papers and see whether that's how Obama's gaffe is covered. Or whether it's covered at all.
Lane Core Jr. CIW P Thu. 03/19/09 10:07:33 PM
Categorized as International & Political.