The State Department Throws Andrew W.K. Under the Bus

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 28 2012 3:39 PM

The State Department Throws Andrew W.K. Under the Bus

I'm a true fan of Andrew W.K., and have been for years. I bought I Get Wet on CD, and two years later, I bought The Wolf. I DVR'd his TV show Destroy Build Destroy. So the news that Andrew had been nixed from a goodwill State Department gig in Bahrain seemed unfair to me -- and to him, as he gave multiple updates on the crisis and its failed resolution.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.

Today, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland continued the pile-on.

QUESTION: There’s an entertainer who goes by the name of Andrew W. K., who says that he has been named or appointed by the State Department to be a cultural ambassador to appear at some event in Bahrain. Do you know anything about this?
MS. NULAND: And here I thought we were going to get through this whole briefing without that one coming up.
QUESTION: Oh, you do? You do? Is it true? You have something?
MS. NULAND: I do have a little something on this. So we had a Bahraini entity that approached the Embassy about cosponsoring a visit by this guy, who I take it is pretty popular there in Bahrain. That was initially approved. And then when more senior management at the Embassy took a look at this, the conclusion was that this was not an appropriate use of U.S. Government funds.
QUESTION: Is that – did – and would they – the government would have paid for his trip over there, had it –
MS. NULAND: I don’t know what the details of our sponsorship were to be.
QUESTION: Can you explain why it was – was it – I mean, his – was it that – it was decided that it was inappropriate to send someone over there to Bahrain to represent the United States whose hits include Party Till You Puke and things like that? (Laughter.) Is that why it was decided it was inappropriate?
MS. NULAND: Thank you for sharing that. I think --
QUESTION: Is that why?
MS. NULAND: I think the conclusion was, when they looked at the body of his work, that we didn’t need to be part of this invitation.

Solidarnosc.

 

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.