The Bush administration has decided to hire a New York-based advertising executive to 'sell American diplomacy' and promote US values abroad. Apparently, the core values behind "Brand America" are not getting through. This won't be cheap, but it must be done.
But why waste more taxpayers' money? The United States already has its own commercial ambassadors, however - the philanthropic titans of General Electric Corporation, Jeffrey R. Immelt and someone with a little more personal brand cache, Microsoft Corporation's Bill Gates. Both run businesses founded by ingenious technological US citizens - in the case of GE, by Thomas Edison, and in the case of Microsoft, by Gates himself.
Who could be better to promote US values abroad than these two, and what better vehicle to promote US values could there be than a TV channel - and associated website! - jointly owned by the pair? For surely these busy men have no more accurate an expression of what they think, than a 24-hour-a-day broadcaster for which they foot the tab: as they do, for every camera, for every inch of tape and for every technician and presenter's wages.
They're such busy men, they surely don't have time to vet every broadcast. Why, that would be ridiculous.
But the tone and expression of this expensive investment surely reflects "core values" in which they believe. Or want us to think that they believe. Otherwise, as wise and frugal men, they wouldn't be footing the bill.
So why, we humbly suggest, don't Immelt and Gates take their own prized employees with them as cultural ambassadors? It would surely be cheaper than hiring some slick Madison Avenue dissembler. Why go to the trouble of hiring a bow-tied and no doubt, expensively-coiffured PowerPoint ponce, when Mr. PowerPoint™ himself has such talented US ambassadors to hand?
MSNBC's 'Turd World'
For example, when Bill Gates next visits India, to impress on the world's largest democracy the importance of buying Microsoft software, why doesn't he take his TV channel's host Michael Savage?
"Savage", who has been hired by the joint GE-Microsoft venture MSNBC after some successful years on radio, has some interesting views on developing nations, or what he calls the "turd world". We guess he means that there's a first world, which is honkies like us, then there's a second world - whoever that may be, although the Welsh must surely be justified in fearing a frame-job - then there's a third world - composed entirely of excrement.
When Immelt and Gates stress the opportunities open to emerging nations' best talent in the United States, "Savage" could remind them - as he so often reminds his radio listeners - that "immigrants bring disease."
When General Electric and Microsoft ponder business opportunities in Asia, they could bring along the man the MSNBC station boss describes as "invigorating".
He could invigorate new markets - on behalf of General Electric and Microsoft - with insight into what he calls "little soy eaters". He could warn them that the Chinese - who provided 72 per cent of the world's GDP growth last year - are "little devils", who must not be trusted.
For the invigorating ambassador is nothing if not versatile. When the two CEOs visit the troubled Middle East, perhaps they could bring the diplomatic skills of their valued "Savage" to the situation. He could explain why he calls the Jewish talk-show Jerry Springer "hook-nosed".
And when Gates visits Africa - always a perilous place to visit, so we are told - on a philanthropic mission to dispense some of his estate's money to AIDS charities, "Savage" could elucidate Gates' motivations for dropping by on the hosts. When wealthy white kids - such as Gates - visit poor black neighborhoods on do-gooding missions, he'd explain that they only do so for the "thrill" of "being raped".
That's it. Sceptical at first, we'd gradually come to entertain the idea that Gates' charity work was no PR stunt, but instead a sincere effort to encourage self-reliance amongst the disadvantaged. Gates has said he will leave only a token amount of his vast wealth to his children - so they don't grow into layabout bums - and Gates' father is leading a spirited campaign to preserve the US' Inheritance Tax, for very much the same reason.
But we were wrong. All along, Bill Gates is in Africa on the off-chance that he might be fucked up the ass by a black man. Thank you, "Michael Savage" for that insight - and thank you Jeff Immelt and Bill Gates for bringing him to our attention. ®