Death of a Saleswoman
Given the coverage of institutional rhetoric in this blog, it seems important to say something about the departure of yet another Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy at the State Department, who is skewered in the video above.
Karen Hughes will be leaving office with perhaps her only accomplishment being a collaboration between the federal government and the Walt Disney corporation to create a film to be shown in airports about the most appealing aspects of our great nation. In her absence, you can keep your channel tuned to Discover America, where her themed-entertainment view of the country will live on through stock footage of a multi-racial cast of jolly natives and a dizzying array of trucking, zooming, dollying, and panning shots in national parks at "Welcome: Portraits of America." Visitors can tap their toes to a predictable and sappy soundtrack.
For more background, you can read some of my not terribly gentle rhetorical analysis of one of her predecessors, Charlotte Beers, in this hypertext for an online journal or read entries on this blog about public diplomacy efforts on the Internet.