It was the sort of visit made for cameras, but President Barack Obama's stop at a Chinese restaurant came under scrutiny on Friday after the menu showed that it served shark fin.So let me get this straight. The president is supposedly in hot water for eating at a restaurant that serves shark fin soup, but he never actually ordered or ate any shark fin soup?
Obama, in San Francisco for fund-raisers, on Thursday surprised and delighted lunch-time diners with a surprise stop at a restaurant in Chinatown. He posed for pictures and paid in cash for two bags of take-out food.
But a look at the menu of the restaurant, Great Eastern, showed that it offered soup from shark fin, a Chinese delicacy that environmentalists say is pushing the ancient fish to the point of extinction.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that no one on the staff had been aware of the issue until seeing media reports on Friday and that Obama had not ordered shark.
"The president enjoyed his visit to Chinatown, and, as you know, ordered a lot of dim sum takeout. No soup," Carney told reporters on Air Force One.
Environmentalists say that tens of millions of sharks are killed each year as fishermen slice off their fins for dinner tables, leaving them to die in the water. Sharks have few offspring, compounding risks to their survival.
The United States banned finning in its waters in 2000. Obama in January 2011 signed the Shark Conservation Act that toughened regulations by banning imports of fins that are not attached to corresponding shark carcasses.
While the federal law did not ban shark fins themselves, California Governor Jerry Brown in October signed a bill that barred the sale, trade and possession of shark fins. However, restaurants in San Francisco and elsewhere in California can still sell existing stocks of shark fin until July 2013. (AFP/Yahoo!)
*pauses for a moment to ponder the stupidity*
Okay, I've seen some idotic fake controversies drummed up about the president over the years, but this has got to be one of the dumbest ones I've seen yet. How in the hell is he in hot water for going to a restarant that sells the soup, but not ordering any himself?
This non-issue is what Americans decide to get upset over? And yet those same people kept their mouths shut when George W. Bush was lying us into an unncessary war, when Wall Street was robbing us all blind and most recently, when the ultra-conservative Supreme Court handed down Citizens United.
No wonder the rest of the world is laughing at us.