Having joined reflexive Obama-bashers by assuming the worst based on an unjustified reading of a leaked diplomatic cable and subsequently criticizing the White House for something it did not do, allow me to continue my contrition and repentance by flagging another example of the same phenomenon, also involving Asian diplomacy and equally unfair, being trumpeted by some of the same sources that led me astray.
The headlines: “ANOTHER WHITE HOUSE STAFF SCREWUP” (Instapundit) …“Obama Honors South Korean President With Japanese Food” (The National Review)
Where did this come from? USA Today reported the fare for the upcoming White House dinner honoring South Korean President Lee Myung Bak:
The full dinner menu:
Butternut Squash Bisque, Honey Poached Cranberries, Virginia Cured Ham, Pumpkin Seed Praline, Crème Fraiche
Early Fall Harvest Salad on Daikon Sheets, Masago Rice Pearl Crispies, Rice Wine Vinaigrette
Texas Wagyu Beef, Orange-Ginger Fondue, Sauteed Kale, Roasted Kabocha Squash
Chocolate Malt Devils Food Layers With Pear and Almond Brittle
An American wine will be paired with each course.
Noting the undeerlined selections, National Review writer Greg Pollowitz snarked,
“What’s next? German beer for when Netanyahu visits? Does the President of the U.S. not know the history of Japanese atrocities in WWII? Koreans in all 57 states would like an explanation.”
Funny…except that Diakon and Kabocha squash are both common ingredients in South Korean cuisine despite their Japanese names, and serving a Japanese breed of cattle raised on a Texas ranch is hardly a faux pas. It’s American cattle by the time it gets to the table, pardner!
I am, obviously, aware that President Obama’s White House staff and his advisors have been unacceptably inept and careless on too many occasions, but like everyone else, they deserve to be criticized when they actually fail, rather than when journalists, bloggers and critics eager for a “gotcha!” don’t do their research.