Great moments in 21st century diplomacy

Thousands of politicians all over the world are now on Twitter, and not all are using the social networking tool wisely. Take Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, a businessman who owns the Daily Times newspaper and is said to have been close to Benazir Bhutto, the late prime minister. On Saturday, he ...

Thousands of politicians all over the world are now on Twitter, and not all are using the social networking tool wisely. Take Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Pakistan's Punjab province, a businessman who owns the Daily Times newspaper and is said to have been close to Benazir Bhutto, the late prime minister.

On Saturday, he tweeted this ill-conceived joke:

"One of first politicians to condemn mad Florida pastor Terry Jones was Sara Palin who said 'it was inhuman to burn a Korean'! God bless USA"

Thousands of politicians all over the world are now on Twitter, and not all are using the social networking tool wisely. Take Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, a businessman who owns the Daily Times newspaper and is said to have been close to Benazir Bhutto, the late prime minister.

On Saturday, he tweeted this ill-conceived joke:

"One of first politicians to condemn mad Florida pastor Terry Jones was Sara Palin who said ‘it was inhuman to burn a Korean’! God bless USA"

Apparently not everyone got it, because he later tweeted:

"I’m amazed that the simplistic pathetic remarks to my JOKE that Sarah Palin can’t tell difference between a KOREAN and QORAN! Humour?"

He followed up that tweet with this winner:

"My farms rice crop has never been better because of the rains.Almost ready now ,huge robust grain practically no canal water was required"

A bit insensitive, perhaps, given how the vast swaths of the country have been inundated by catastrophic flooding, not to mention the inherently sensitive politics of land ownership in Pakistan? No matter. When criticized by journalist Dean Nelson (@delhidean) of the Daily Telegraph, who asked, "will you give ur crop to farmers whose land was flooded by Sindh landowners?," Taseer tweeted resignedly: "These r retards i have 2 deal wth."

Nice.

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