Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Michelle Malkin in shrill, anti-Islamic fit of hysteria for reasons that remain incomprehensible to the rest of the world

In other news, dog bites man. For those unfamiliar with Miss Malkin, she's sort of a poor man's Anne Coulter. Or maybe a rich man's. Probably that, actually. Anyway, the point is that she's one of those folks who makes her living blogging about how terrifying all those religious folk in the Middle East are with their jihadding (I am willing to bet she's used that as a verb) and how all the right-thinking religious folk in the US should go on crusade against them, all the while saving some ammo back to deal with liberals, black people, terror, evolution and the environment. Or something.

So, she's upset because someone in a Dunkin' Donuts ad had a black and white scarf on. Since folks in the Middle East are also sometimes known to wear black and white scarves, she's taken to wondering whether this is a coincidence, or an early indication that the marketing folk at America's largest purveyor of angina-inducing-baked-goods are in fact secret race traitors. Although she's prepared to give Dunkin' Donuts the benefit of the doubt. Because, hey, at least they're tough on immigrants.

Just to show you I'm not making this up, I'm going to link to her post again. And have a look around the site, folks. Who needs Steven Colbert when you can go right to the source?

The thing that makes this slightly more unusual than your average right-wing knickers-in-a-twister story is that Dunkin' Donuts actually pulled the add on the basis of this:

Dunkin' Donuts has pulled an online advertisement featuring Rachael Ray after complaints that a fringed black-and-white scarf that the celebrity chef wore in the ad offers symbolic support for Muslim extremism and terrorism.

The coffee and baked goods chain said the ad that began appearing online May 7 was pulled over the past weekend because "the possibility of misperception detracted from its original intention to promote our iced coffee."

Not the first example of extreme American parochialism damaging US business, and certainly not the last, but surely one of the weirdest.

Also, as Roy Edroso points out, we should spare a thought for Michelle in all this. When celebrity fashion choices may be coded signals of a boardroom-executive conspiracy against America, the world's a pretty scary place:

What a small, strange world she lives in -- one in which even simple breakfast choices are fraught with peril. What are her lunch and dinner choices like? When she goes to a restaurant, does she peer into the waiters' station and wonder which servers are gays who wish to be married, peer into the kitchen and wonder which dishwashers are illegal aliens? When she makes her own meals, does she claw through the fridge and pantry like Harry Caul at the end of The Conversation, frantically searching the labels for signs of politically incorrect associations?


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