A Banner Day for the USA

Which is more flabbergasting: the level of artifice the president uses to try to convince the American people that his economic stimulus plan actually helps small business owners (his evidence for this is, ahem, banner thin), or the stupidity of the guy who stacked the "Made in China" boxes next to the podium? (From ABCNews, via This Modern World)
The White House, long known for its catchy, attention-grabbing backdrops, had designed a gigantic banner made to look like stacked boxes stamped with 'MADE IN U.S.A.'

To television viewers around the country, the banner was indistinguishable from a real wall of boxes made in the good old U.S. of A., which were perfectly lined up on either side of the banner.

For an event meant to draw attention to the president's plan to help small businesses hurt by the sagging economy, it appeared to be another hit designed by the White House advance staff, known for their eye-catching 'made for TV' backgrounds.

The pitch was to deliver the president, concerned about the economy, taking time out of his busy schedule to visit a mom-and-pop company he says would save thousands of dollars under his tax-relief plan.

The problem was that the real boxes surrounding the president at the scene of his speech — a small shipping and receiving plant, JS Logistics — should have read: 'NOT Made in U.S.A.'

The president was introduced by the company's owner, John Cochrane.

Mystery Tape Job

Next to the banner and stacked around his podium were hundreds of boxes labeled 'Made in China' — and Taiwan and Hong Kong. Someone apparently became aware of the mixed message, for white stickers and brown packing tape were mysteriously taped over the true origin of the real boxes that travel through the trucking and warehouse business daily.

Many of the boxes also had handwritten numbers meant to represent routing codes written across them with markers.

White House officials traveling with the president today said the tape job came as a complete surprise to them. Deputy press secretary Claire Buchan attributed the cover-up to an overzealous advance office volunteer and said the matter would be taken up through the appropriate channels.

Workers busily taking apart the stage after the president's departure were chuckling over the incident. No one in the group could say exactly who was responsible. One said, 'They just sort of appeared yesterday.'

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