The over-staged "Beer Summit" has been over-covered, though not very well, so I hesitate to spend another pixel on it here.
But it did represent a quintessential Across the Great Divide moment, and it concerned beer, politics and stupid media tricks — all favorites here.
Let's start with beer marketing.
“Enjoying a beer is a great way to bring people together,” said [the president of Anheuser-Busch, trying not at all to talk like a regular person.] “Anheuser-Busch and its distributors have more than 70,000 U.S. employees who brew, market and distribute our beers, and we are all proud to have Bud Light chosen for the White House meeting. Bud Light is the No. 1 selling beer in the country, the favorite beer of millions of Americans.”
Neil Cavuto of Fox News was just one Fox personality deriding the Beer Summit, bringing on the president of Yuengling, America's oldest brewery, and trying to get him to complain about Obama drinking that "foreign" beer, Budweiser.
Fox & Friends picked up the same thread. Steve Doocy hyped Coors Light as an American beer (Molson Coors is at least half-Canadian, but still pours money to right wing think tanks), while Gretchen Carlson trilled "This would be a good time to promote 'buy American.'" Presumably, that includes Corona, the other tasteless non-U.S. brand on display.
Hannity devoted seven minutes to the topic, blathering about how Sgt. Crowley "risked his life to save [Gates's] property" and "Obama is far more radical than anyone will admit." Even if you know how vile Fox is, it's stunning to follow one topic through its various broadcasts and watch the propaganda laid down.
There was plenty of talk about the semiotics of beer choices, but not much in the way of suggested alternatives that might express a point of view more directly, while promoting America's small brewers. Obama, for example, might've chosen Ale to the Chief, Restoration or even Summit, but probably would pass on Dark Lord. Gates had a lot of options, ranging from Minnesota beers Furious and Not Guilty to Sublimely Self Righteous and The Devil Made Me Do It, depending on what tone he wanted to convey. If Crowley was still looking for an apology, he could've gone for The Unforgiven; a little humor, Blind Pig; mea culpa, Out of Bounds.
Oh, yeah. Biden had few choices. Old Peculiar doesn't make an NA version.
Maybe I'll save the rest for a more serious post.