Self-inflicted embarrassment dept: Shanghai Expo update (updated!)

Last month Adam Minter, of the wonderful Shanghai Scrap site, reported for the about the ongoing follies surrounding the U.S. exhibit at the Shanghai Expo 2010 (aka World's Fair) that starts less than a year from now. Short version of the story: this is sizing up as a big embarrassment for the United States.

He is back today with an update on the strange process that is leading to the loss of face. Worth checking out -- and figuring out how to correct, soon.

haibao.jpg Thumbnail image for CowboyHaibao.jpg

Left, Haibao Classic, symbol of Expo 2010. Right, American Haibao, who due to U.S. fumbling may tragically not have a chance to appear at the Expo. FAQ: Does Haibao look like Gumby? Though with a different color, and a cowlick on the opposite side? A: Yes, so maybe there's a kind of residual US presence or influence even if the US Pavilion doesn't get built.

UPDATE: Check out the comments thread on Adam Minter's post, especially #s 9 and 10. In brief, Minter outed someone boosting one of the participants -- from an IP address registered to the US State Department.  

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

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