This is a great country. In the span of about 24 hours I’ve had the opportunity to write about the nadir of ethics (Scott McClellan) and the pinnacle of political correctness (Dunkin’ Donuts). And I don’t believe Rachael Ray is a terrorist. There. I’ve said it. Scott McClellan: If you know something I don’t about this Rachael Ray debacle — speak up now.
Anyway, here’s the story. Rachael Ray has been doing a series of ads for Dunkin’ Donuts. In the latest one, she was wearing a black-and-white scarf. The problem? Conservative Fox News talking head Michelle Malkin, and others, opined that the scarf looked like a keffiyeh, described in a Boston.com article, “Dunkin’ Donuts yanks Rachael Ray ad,” as a traditional headdress worn by Arab men.
Here’s from the article:
Some observers, including ultra-conservative Fox News commentator Michelle Malkin, were so incensed by the ad that there was even talk of a Dunkin’ Donuts boycott.
‘‘The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad,’’ Malkin yowls in her syndicated column.
‘‘Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant and not-so-ignorant fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons.’’
The company at first pooh-poohed the complaints, claiming the black-and-white wrap was not a keffiyeh. But the right-wing drumbeat on the blogosphere continued and by yesterday, Dunkin’ Donuts decided it’d be easier just to yank the ad.
Oh, mama. I wonder what Starbucks would have done?
Adrants puts this fiasco into historical context. Yet it troubles me that Dunkin’ Donuts would cave on this — especially at a time when it appears that we can’t get any honest answers from our own government about the “war on terrorism.” And when companies are lined up to sponsor the Summer Olympics in a country that should raise some concerns beyond who is wearing a black-and-white scarf.
Well, I guess what I am saying is that I would stand next to Rachael Ray on this one even if she were wearing nothing. Ah, that didn’t come out exactly right. But you get the point.
And then there is Scott McClellan. Plenty of articles to read today if you are interested in him and his book. But here’s the lead from a story that was on the front page of the Akron Beacon Journal this morning:
From Beacon Journal wire services
WASHINGTON: In a White House full of Bush loyalists, none was more loyal than Scott McClellan, the bland press secretary who spread the company line for all the government to follow each day. His word, it turns out, was worthless, his confessional memoir a glimpse into Washington’s world of spin and even outright deception.
Gee, wonder what Michele Malkin and her counterparts believe is the bigger threat to our country and democracy. A White House press secretary who can’t tell the truth — or a celebrity who is wearing a scarf in a Dunkin’ Donuts ad?