State Dept Comes to the Defense of Golf

Aug 12, 2009 3:28pm

My ABC News colleague covering the State Department, Kirit Radia, has this sporty report from today's daily press briefing in Foggy Bottom:

President Obama plays golf most weekends. Venezuelan President (and perennial thorn in Washington's side) Hugo Chavez clearly does not.

On his television program last month Chavez blasted the sport as "bourgeois" and since then, according to the New York Times, his supporters have moved to shut down some of the country's more popular links.

Today, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs PJ Crowley decided enough is enough, anointing himself "Ambassador-at-Large for Golf" and defending the game both he and Obama love.

In unsolicited remarks at the top of today's press briefing, Crowley protested "the unwarranted attack by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on the game of golf."

Crowley was just getting warmed up.

"You know, considering that the hemisphere celebrated the victory of former caddie and son of Argentina in the Masters, over a good old boy who built a public course in his hometown in Kentucky, and we cheered as a relative unknown from South Carolina won the people's open, on the country's finest public course at Bethpage Black; you know, we were in awe as a 59-year-old man held off the greatest golfers of the world for 71 holes, on links land in Scotland, where the game of golf was created, and now we are on the even of the season's final major, where the favorite to win is arguably the greatest golfer of all time and whose heritage literally spans continents," he continued.

"So the suggestion by Mr. Chavez — that golf, a truly global sport, is bourgeois — is a mulligan. And once again Mr. Chavez, one of the hemisphere's most divisive figures, finds himself out of bounds," Crowley concluded.


- Kirit Radia

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