The very strange story of how a Harvard professor's arrest made national news has been made one iota stranger today. President Obama has pledged to bring together the two aggrieved parties -- Professor Henry Louis Gates and Sgt. James Crowley -- for a little talky-talk at the White House. The chat is supposed to take place over beers.
You do not have to be a terrible cynic or a wacko conspiracy nut to see how this whole to-do might have been cooked up by the beer industry.
Consider: virtually every consumer choice the president makes becomes national news and a major product placement opportunity. He gets a Portuguese water dog, everybody wants a Portuguese water dog. He gets a hamburger with Dijon mustard, everybody wants a hamburger with Dijon mustard (those who don't despise him for wanting fancy Dijon mustard, that is). Now that he's having the professor and the cop over for beers, does he honestly think that America won't be watching to see what kind of beer they're drinking?
The White House has revealed what beer will be served at the much-anticipated meeting later this week: Bud for the president and Blue Moon for Crowley. It's unclear if Gates drinks.
Oh, Gates does indeed drink! He drinks that elitist Red Stripe beer that looks like it comes out of an old-fashioned medicine bottle.
He said he’s partial to Red Stripe and Beck’s. He may not get his pick, as they are foreign beers, which are not stocked at the White House, under a tradition dating to the Johnson administration.
So who will benefit from this racially transcendent get-together at the White House, besides the three men involved? Budweiser, Blue Moon, and whichever manufacturer of American swill gets the nod from Professor Gates.
There's an old saying in business and in politics -- follow the money. If you want to know who's behind a particular news item or government action, look no further than whoever stands to benefit the most financially. And in this case, the money leads straight back to a fermentation vat in St. Louis.