Saturday, May 17, 2003

OK, this is fairly trivial, but it annoys me:

VENEZUELA: U.S. AMBASSADOR CRITICIZED The government sharply criticized the American ambassador, Charles Shapiro, for holding an event at his official Caracas residence during which a female impersonator used a puppet to ridicule President Hugo Chávez. "What we have here is an irresponsible U.S. ambassador," Vice President José Vicente Rangel told a news conference, adding that the incident could be interpreted as "a provocation." The event, to commemorate International Press Freedom Day, was broadcast on television and was attended by several anti-Chávez media personalities. It ended with the appearance of the female impersonator carrying a large puppet representing the Venezuelan president. Mr. Shapiro planted a mock kiss on the impersonator's cheek.

This is one of our diplomats.

Imagine if the French ambassador to the U.S. had an event scheduled that was, for some reason, slated to be broadcast live on U.S. TV. -- say, PBS. Now imagine if the guest list pointedly included Michael Moore, Janeane Garofalo, Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, with music from the Dixie Chicks. Think anyone here would be a bit peeved? Think it would be considered a tad undiplomatic?

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