Ed Driscoll

The Pepsi Syndrome

Earlier this week, Power Line noted that the president and CFO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, compared the fingers of the hand to different parts of the world in her speech at Columbia Business School’s commencement. “The United States got the middle finger. What a surprise!”, as Hugh Hewitt wrote in his post on the subject.

Hugh also has some thoughts on the backlash that’s followed, as well as a look on how quickly and easily information can flow in the new media:

I interviewed Terry Moran yesterday at 3:40 to 4:15 PM, Pacific. The transcript was up at Radioblogger at 6:00 PM. Instapundit linked 40 minutes later, and my WeeklyStandard.com piece went up at midnight est. Taranto’s Best of the Web headlined Moran’s comments in today’s edition, and bloggers have been chewing on them all day. I suspect that Moran’s comments have been read by 90% of MSM elites and most of political Washington, and far more importantly, millions of American information junkies, who are talking about Moran’s many admissions (with a degree of respect for his candor and his willingness to give the interview –see the comments at RightWingNuthouse, run by Moran’s brother). It has been less than 24 hours.

PepsiCo had better hurry. Scorn, and lost loyalty, won’t wait for McKenzie & Co to come up with a report.

Jonah Goldberg had an interesting essay this week on the European style of much of America’s left–and part of modern Europe’s political legacy is transnationalism. So I guess it’s not entirely surprising that as previously all-American companies like Pepsi, McDonalds, Chrysler and Subway become increasingly internationally-oriented (such as Chrysler’s acquisition by Mercedes Benz), comments by their spokesmen or imagery in their campaigns can also tend to have an anti-American or leftwing taint. (I think we’re also seeing something similar happening with Google right now as well.) Like Ms. Nooyi of PepsiCo, it’s sort of intriguing that business spokespeople usually act surprised when they’re called on their rhetoric by conservatives–who ironically, are typically infintely more pro-business than the left.

Update: Heh. Wish I had thought of that title!