In the wake of last week’s item by Andrew Malcolm about First Lady Michelle Obama allegedly being snubbed by the President of South Africa during a visit there, Mail & Guardian website editor Chris Roper (pictured) did a little digging. What he unearthed does not reflect well on Malcolm.
Roper notes that Malcolm sourced a June 21 report in the Telegraph by Aislinn Laing, who basically made something out of absolutely nothing. He also takes issue with the “Top of the Ticket” lede:
The peevishness of the opening paragraph said it all. “Well, who wants to meet the President of South Africa anyway?” It’s breathtaking in its childishness, and insulting.
The implication seems to be: if you think you’re too important to meet our President’s wife, then you’re not worth being visited by our President’s wife because your importance is based on being visited by our President’s wife. It’s reminiscent of Groucho Marx’s famous aphorism about not wanting to belong to a club that would accept him as a member.
Roper goes on to deadpan that there’s an even bigger scoop that was missed by the American media that week, involving the lack of a meeting between Zuma and–gasp!–Oprah.