Roger L. Simon

Kofi does a Nixon

Resembling no one more than Richard Nixon at the height of the Watergate Scandal, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan imploded at his annual end of the year press conference today, lashing out at the media and accusing one particular London Times reporter who dared to ask questions about his son Kojo’s “diplomatically discounted” Mercedes an “embarrassment” to his publication. From the AP:

At Wednesday’s press conference, one of the most persistent questioners, James Bone of The Times of London, mentioned a Mercedes-Benz that Kojo Annan imported into Ghana using his father’s diplomatic immunity to avoid taxes and customs duty, and said some of the secretary-general’s accounts of oil-for-food related events, “don’t really make sense.”

“I think you’re being very cheeky,” Annan interrupted. “Listen James Bone, you’ve been behaving like an overgrown schoolboy in this room for many, many months and years. You are an embarrassment to your colleagues and to your profession. Please stop misbehaving and please let’s move on to a serious journalist.”

The president of the U.N. Correspondents Association told Annan that Bone had a right to ask a question and was not an embarrassment.

Bone walked out and said later: “The Volcker report raises many serious questions about the integrity of the U.N., and it’s important that public officials paid with taxpayer money answer these questions fully and without accusing the press.”

Video of Kofi’s bizarre performance is available online at CNN and ran on Fox News tonight. Annan has twelve more months in his term as Secretary General. [That’s the good news.-ed. What’s the bad news? He has twelve more months.]

UPDATE: Claudia logs in.