Another day, another American geography blunder.
Cable news network CNN has accidentally reported that Australia, not Austria, is building a wall along ‘our’ Slovenian border, which either means we have a much greater-reaching Border Force than any of us imagined, or there’s a CNN researcher currently rocking back and forth in a broom cupboard mumbling: “Arnie, Austria, Crikey, Australia. Arnie, Austria, Crikey, Australia.”
The blunder was picked up by American political and economic writer Matthew Yglesias:
This seems a little paranoid for an island nation thousands of miles away. pic.twitter.com/6jTLYhGwqz
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) February 29, 2016
And the subsequent mocking was as swift as it was merciless:
Looking forward to CNN’s map of the Australia-Slovenia border. https://t.co/muiku2jf7K
— James Gleick (@JamesGleick) February 29, 2016
When you’re too American to know the difference between Austria and Australia https://t.co/EF2scGWECF
— Tweets From Aleppo (@halabtweets) February 29, 2016
— Stephen MacDougall (@SteveMacDougall) March 1, 2016
@mattyglesias Australian politicians ascribe to fractal chaos theory. Also building a light rail line in PuntArenas, Costa Rica.
— Tony Trout (@tony_trout) February 29, 2016
@mattyglesias Sadly, it’s not that much an exaggeration of Australia’s immigration policies.
— Daniel Schultz (@pastordan) February 29, 2016
CNN have a short but sweet history of mixing shit up – i.e. that time they didn’t see they didn’t recognise a satirical ISIS flag made up of dildos at a Pride Parade for what it was and reported the thing as legit – but Americans have a longer and slightly less sweet history of mixing up Australia and Austria; for example, back in the dark days of U.S. President George Dubya Bush, the gaff-prone POTUS once thanked then-Prime Minister John Howard for visiting Austrian troops in Iraq, of which there were in fact none.
And let’s never forget the ultimate demonstration of America’s grasp on world geography: