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Estonia in the world news

Oh, that Baltic party image

In her October 18th Op-Ed piece, “In Vodka Non Veritas,” New York Times’ columnist Maureen Dowd revisits the subject of the purported Estonian drinking match between presidential hopefuls, Senators John McCain and Hillary Clinton. Dowd, perhaps entertaining herself on a slow news day, decided to have a little fun with Hillary Clinton and re-visit the so-called drinking contest. While few other than nutty right-wing Christians really care whether a drinking match occurred, some Baltic readers have brayed at the way the Baltic is characterized in the western press (Well, we’ve received at least six letters, as if we could do something about it!). From Dowd’s piece:

“Anne Kornblut wrote that two summers ago, on a Congressional trip to Estonia with Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins, Senator Clinton ‘astonished her traveling companions by suggesting that the group do what one does in the Baltics: hold a vodka-drinking contest.’” When Dowd followed up with McCain’s staff for their view of the drinking contest, the party was characterized this way: “...there were six senators and staff and Estonian hangers-on.” Hangers-on, of course, is not a compliment.

City Paper has no idea what Balts should do to be portrayed more positively in the western press. In most cases, we believe, all press is good press. There’s a PR saying which might be paraphrased this way: Love me; hate me; but spell my name right.