Sunday, October 28, 2007

Oh. Canada.

If it's not fake news conferences, it's misplaced borders..

U.S. annexes Canadian landmark in tourism video


Matthew Lee
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON – Oh, Canada! The USA is closer than ever.

The Bush administration appears to have annexed a major Canadian landmark as part of a slick new campaign to promote U.S. tourism and welcome foreign visitors to America.

A Disney-produced promotional video released last week by the departments of State and Homeland Security highlights majestic American landscapes, from New England's colourful fall foliage and the Grand Canyon to the Rocky Mountains and Hawaii's pounding surf.

Backed by a soaring orchestral soundtrack, shots of those attractions are interspersed with the smiling images of people of all creeds and colours.

The video, "Welcome: Portraits of America," is to be played at select airports in the United States – starting at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston – and at U.S. embassies abroad.

About four minutes into the seven-minute production, viewers are treated to the impressive sight and sound of water roaring over Niagara Falls before the screen shifts to the Lincoln Memorial.

In showing the natural wonder, Disney's filmmakers, however, chose the Horseshoe Falls, the only one of Niagara's three waterfalls to lie on the Canadian side of the border separating western New York state from southern Ontario province.

Making matters worse, a visitor to the U.S. would not even be able to get the same view of the falls in the video because the scene was shot from a vantage point in Canada, according to Paul Gromosiak, a Niagara Falls, N.Y., historian and author.

Also, he said the video leaves out the two cascades that actually are on U.S. territory, the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.

"This is not the United States, this is 100 per cent Canada, shot from the Canadian side. This is an insult," Gromosiak said after reviewing the video at the request of The Associated Press.

Although brief, the appearance of the Horseshoe Falls in a U.S. tourism promotion effort is likely to also vex Canadians, who long have fought to distinguish themselves from their larger and more powerful neighbour to the South.

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