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One of the world's most renowned and prestigious news networks reported April 7 on the fact that a cat in Riga had taken a drink, and backed up the claim with conclusive video footage.
Under the headline 'Cat drinks from mayor's mug during interview', the network that was once home to Barbara Walters, Bob Woodruff and Peter Jennings explained that the cat in question was one of a pair maintained by Riga mayor Nils Usakovs and that it had taken its drink while the Harmony party leader was trying to do his latest publicity video.
Almost as if on cue, the cat enters the frame from the left and proceeds in the direction of a conveniently placed mug filled with a liquid clearly acceptable to the feline palate.
As if the display of repeated video evidence including slow-motion replays is not enough to convince viewers that what they just saw really occurred, ABC news helpfully adds a full textual description:
"On Tuesday Ušakovs was participating in an online Q&A session when -- about 17 minutes into the interview -- one of the cats strutted into frame and started to drink out of Ušakovs' mug.
"Ušakovs calmly watched the cat boldly drink out of his mug and then tried to pet the cat as it jumped off the table," said ABC in a commendably accurate account of the cat drinking from the mug.
The network also made use of a series of painfully predictable feline puns (cat-astrophic, purr-fect, meow-nificent) while studiously avoiding use of the world 'pussy', which has in recent months become a matter of some controversy in the American political landscape.
What is beyond doubt is that mayor Usakovs certainly succeeded in getting a good deal of coverage as a result of the incident, ahead of municipal elections in June.
And as we are now reporting on the fact that ABC reported this incident, we can hardly claim the moral high ground. The byline attached to the report is 'Blair Shiff'. Blair, if you are ever in Riga, we will be honored to buy you a drink of milk.