@StateDept Ex-Employees Get Comedy Central’s The Opposition Treatment

Posted: 2:08 am ET


We’re late on this but a couple weeks back, Comedy Central’s Jordan Klepper sat down with former members of the State Department to discuss President Trump’s proposed budget cuts and his approach to diplomacy. Well, this is supposed to be funny but we’re crying, and not from laughing our heads off.

The former employees include two former press officers (Meaghan Monfort and Sri Kulkarni who is running for Congress in Texas and just advanced to the runoffs), David Rank (most recently CDA in Beijing), Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley (f0rmer U.S. Ambassador to Malta), Tom Countryman (former U/Secretary of State), and Michele Bond (former A/S for Consular Affairs).



The Daily Show: Inglurious Ambassaders and an Earnest Spox

— Domani Spero
[twitter-follow screen_name=’Diplopundit’ ]

Ouchy!  The new ambassadors to Argentina and Hungary just made it to Comedy Central but perhaps the best feature was the WH spox, Josh Earnest who dodged with “Frankly, I was not part of this decision-making process.”

Jon Stewart rips: “That is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen the president’s press secretary do. His entire job — his only job — is built around trying not to go, ‘Hey, look, I just fucking work here.’ But that’s what he did.”

Screen Shot 2014-12-04

click on image to view the video

We hate to think what this would look like if/when that fellow for Norway gets the Senate nod. We’ll have The Daily Show trampling on the salad bowl.

* * *

Rename DipNote Effort Gets Not So Hilarious Suggestions From Chattering Crowd

We previously blogged about the State Department’s crowdsourcing effort to give its official blog, DipNote a makeover (see State Dept Crowdsourcing New Blog Name – What’s Wrong With DipNote?).

As part of the Department of State’s redesign, the blog may get a new name.  Department employees worldwide apparently submitted more than 370 submissions for a new name for the blog. Last week, the public was asked to select one name from the top four blog names suggested by the employees:

  • Unclassified: The State Department Blog
  • Statecraft
  • DipNote
  • Matters of State

We don’t know if everyone who posted in the comments section of DipNote all voted but we noticed that a good number of them also posted their own blogname suggestions. A few samples below from the public’s abundant imagination:

  • Lol in Virginia writes: Spin Department or Propaganda Machine
  • Scott P. in Massachusetts writes: New Blogt Name — State of Affairs @StateofAffairs
  • Christy M. in New York writes: Try: 1)”QODUS” for The Quarter of Diplomacy in United States; or 2)”DOQUS for Diplomacy Operation Quarter of United States; or 3) USDOQ for United States Diplomacy Operation Quarter; or DUSQ for Diplomacy United States Quarter; or USDOQ for United States Diplomacy Operations Quarter
  • Mike S. in Pennsylvania writes: State It” Sometimes in naming you need to start all over. None of the lowest common denominator proposed names has any life or zing. It promises that the blog might be the same. Please find a name with zip such as the above suggestion or another submission.
  • Frank D. in New York writes: How about “Lies My Government Told Me”?
  • Edwyne R. in Texas writes: Blues News
  • Tom in Colorado writes: View Abroad
  • P. Kumar in Virginia writes:  My Suggestion for the Name of the State Dept Blog: StateSide
  • Cristian in Romania writes: Blogmerica
  • Katherine in the U.S.A. writes:  Foggy Bottom would be hilarious, though Unclassified would draw more folks in…
  • A.Y.C. writes: Peter Van Buren!
  • Willie W. in the U.S.A. writes: “Gayanashagowa” (the “Great Law of Peace”) Origin: Six Nations of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee)
  • Erin S. in Virginia writes: Diplo-phone: like megaphone!
  • Michael in the U.S.A. writes: US DiploBlog
  • Donald M. in Virginia writes: Theres an old saying, “if it works don’t fix it” whats wrong with the current blog name? I like it and its fitting for what it does.
  • Betty D. in Idaho writes: BLOG FOG
  • W.W. writes: I would call it : UncleSam International
  • Eric in New Mexico writes: USDOSFAB” ??  


We thought that last one, USDOSFAB good as in USDOSFabulous.  No such luck, it turns out that simply means, “United States Deptartment Of State Foreign Affairs Blog.

Comedy Central’s Indecision, by the way,  considered it a shame that only State employees were asked to submit names for the jazzed-up site coming in 2013.  It posted that they have a many great ideas for blog names and content to feature at relaunch, such as:

  • BuzzState, featuring “15 Cats That Look Like Heads of State”
  • Diplomatic Pouches from Last Night, including this submission: “LOL I am so baked right now, XOXO – Ambassador Rudolf Bekink, Royal Netherlands Embassy”
  • Sttdprtmntr, which is American policy expressed entirely in GIFs
  • Hillary’s Livejournal, with the top entry: “Waiting for the Senate to confirm my successor. Mood: pensive.”

Even Twitchy got into the act, collecting suggestions from Twitter just for fun:

  • @BryTupper “State of Disbelief”
  • @rellis168 How about naming it Dodge Ball?
  • @theGrudgeRetort The Onion @StateDept
  • @serr8d  “Doublethink”
  • @Crapplefratz  “The Daily Stand-Down”

The names are certainly … um interesting, but they pale in comparison to the ones from 2007.  Don’t know who came up with these but way back when DipNote was just launched, the Top Ten Rejected State Department Blog Names apparently surfaced online.  Published here by FishbowlDC and  here by The Beltway Confidential. Please don’t fall off your chairs.

10. Blackwater Serenade
9. Condi Meant (First Post title: “Condi Fiddles while Nick Burns”).
8. Kinky Boots (First Post title: “The Twee Communiques”).
7. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Rumsfeld! (First Post Title: “Allegro Con Dolcezza!”)
6. Bottom-up Reconciliation (whoops! That was supposed to be in the “Top Ten Rejected Larry Craig blog names”).
5. www.potterybarn.gov
4. The Crocker Barrel (First Post: “The Global War On Errorism”)
3. The Wolf o’ Wits
2. Laying The Morning Cable (First Post: “I’ve Got Your Long Telegram Right Here, bub!”)
1. www.bitemejohnboltonwe’resellingoutthecountrytokimjongil.com

What colorful names!  DipNote may not rock your world but it could have been a lot worse.

domani spero sig