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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Donald Rumsfeld update!

This is beyond nuts.

In a good way.

Time: Why Is Donald Rumsfeld on This Package of Spicy Peanuts?
By Catherine Mayer

There are, in this salty tale of frolics, politics and peanuts, a number of what Donald Rumsfeld might call known knowns. These are things we know that we know -- such as how a photograph of a young Rumsfeld, a chopstick balanced on his protruding upper lip as he gazes at a giggling Geisha, came to decorate packets of U.K. snack food manufacturer Tyrrell's Spicy Coated Peanuts. "All our packs feature imagery which aims to be rather entertaining, quirky and just a bit different from the norm of popping a slice of cheese and an onion on the front of a pack," emails Oliver Rudgard, Tyrrell's Marketing Director. "We thought this image was in line with our brand's light-hearted and slightly eccentric view on life."

The story is rich with known unknowns, too. For example, we know that the former White House Chief of Staff and Secretary of Defense did not know that his more than slightly eccentric portrait was being used this way until TIME informed his people.

And here's another Rumsfeldian known unknown: few Britons ripping open a packet of the wasabi-flavored treats would recognize the anonymous man unwittingly pressed into service to promote the product. There's no caption to the photograph on the packaging. "We chose it because we loved the picture," confirms Rudgard. "The fact that Donald Rumsfeld was featured was merely coincidental." Indeed, the packaging was an unknown unknown. British consumers didn't know they didn't know the story behind it.

Coincidence ensured that this unknown unknown and the known unknowns became known knowns. An eagle-eyed TIME staffer picked up a few groceries in a convenience store during a recent holiday in the north of England. He spotted the photograph and felt sure it belonged to a set taken by the photographer David Hume Kennerly during President Gerald Ford's 1974 visit to Japan. Kennerly, duly contacted, confirmed a further known unknown. Like Rumsfeld, he had no idea that the image had found a new and salty-fingered audience.

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Anonymous said...

I always thought he had a sense of humour. I just finished his book about a month ago. There is a lot of content concerning his work with Ford administration. Very interesting.


Anonymous said...

Hi D,

It's Dave from Canada here....

This is way off topic but who are you rooting for in the two horse race between Mitt and Newt?

The only thing that's wrong with the upcoming Superbowl is that the Broncos are not in it. So what do you think of Tim Tebow? My feeling is that he is the best role model in sports right now.

Anyway I don't have any accounts but you can email me at if you want chat about the upcoming elections and stuff. If not...That's okay too.

Sweetface24 said...

Hey Dave

Sorry I just saw your comment. Never liked Newt, been rooting for Romney so... yay!!

Loved the Broncos, so happy Peyton went there. Bummed Tebow's with the jets- I LOVE TEBOW! But I hate the Jets so... hope he does well but I'm never getting a Jets jersey! lol