Monday, December 06, 2004

Reader Scott Ruble provides a great item for The Body Politic, reprinted here in full, from a Wednesday e-mail. Scott even provided supporting links. He's a columnist's best friend:

As you know, NBC's "The West Wing" often bases plots of their episodes on real political happenings of recent months. In case you were not watching tonight's new West Wing episode, I thought you would find it very interesting that tonight's episode was inspired by Fiona Ma's South Vietnamese flag episode. In the episode, President Bartlett is meeting with some visiting dignitaries from Taiwan and unknowingly receives from them what he does not realize is the "Four Hearted Flag" independence flag of the Taiwanese delegation. Once Chinese officials get word of this affront, all hell, embarassment and confusion break out (just as when we honored the South Vietnamese flag). The episode was so clearly lifted from the happenings of S.F.'s South Vietnamese flag episode that the West Wing writers went so far, in fact, as to quote Supervisor Ma, who said about the mistake: "That was my bad"; analogously, in the episode, Deputy Chief of Staff "Josh Lyman", says, quote, "Our bad".(!) There are even demonstrations in Taipei about the President recognising the flag, just as we had demonstrations in front of City Hall encouraging the recognition of the old South Vietnamese flag. Sometimes truth is just as strange as fiction. Another claim to fame for San Francisco and our always newsworthy Board of Supervisors.

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