Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a pair of Australian radio hosts that she doesn't want the global perception of America to be from the Kardashians and professional wrestling.
In a funny, wide-ranging discussion with radio personalities Hamish and Andy, a comedy duo whose program is broadcast across Australia, Clinton spoke seriously, at first, about working to maintain a positive perception of America around the world. When one of the hosts mentioned the reality-television-starring Kardashian family, as an example of American television broadcast around the globe, Clinton agreed. The Kardashian clan -- including Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, mom Kris and stepdad Bruce Jenner are famous for -- well, America is still kind of figuring that out, but nonetheless they have a hit TV show about their California-lifstyle on E!.
One of the hosts said, "The Kardashians give us a lot of our...import."
"The Kardashians, exactly," Clinton said. "If you look at American TV as much of the rest of the world does, you would think we all went around wrestling and wearing bikinis," she said.
"I mean, that's what you would think we spend our entire day doing."
Clinton said part of the challenge of her job to is demonstrate that America is bigger than its TV programming.
"Instead of viewing us as a caricature, a kind of reality-TV version of America, I think it's important, especially with thought leaders, young people on campuses like this, to be present to answer questions and to try to make some connections," she said.
Hamish and Andy also presented Clinton with a bag of gravy-flavored potato chips - apparently one that was about two years old.
"I cannot tell you how much this means to me," Clinton said, graciously accepting the bag.
"Are you a collector of chips?" the hosts asked.
"I am an eater of chips," she replied.
The hosts warned Clinton against actually eating the several-years-expired chips.
"They're the last remaining sealed ones," they said. "If you try to eat them, technically, that's an assassination attempt by us."
The hosts praised Clinton for her negotiating skills, inquiring as to how she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, decided on what to eat for dinner each night, and asking her for advice in resolving conflicts in their personal lives.
"I have a barbeque this afternoon that I'm hosting," one of the radio personalities told her. "I ran into my neighbor yesterday as I was taking party supplies into my house. And he said, "Are you having a barbeque?" I said, "Yes." And he's currently not invited, but now he knows that a barbeque is on. We have, on a microscale, we have diplomatic tensions."
Clinton surmised the situation as a "potential hot spot."
"The path of least resistance is to invite him," she said.
"He's not a good mix. He's not a good match," the host replied. "I don't want to call him a rogue dissident, but..."
"How about this," Clinton said. "Why don't you take him over some barbeque?"
"And that's why you are the secretary of state of the United States of America," the host said.