Culture

Reporter plays Pokemon Go during State Department ISIS briefing

Technically Incorrect: A journalist admits to a State Department spokesman that he's keeping one eye on the game.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Oh dear.

USA Today/YouTube screnshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Are you wondering whether we've reached peak Pokemon?

Are you, like one angry Canadian man, hoping that the hordes of Pokemon Go players will soon get off your lawn?

There's evidence that the game might be plateauing. On the other hand, it's now reached the higher levels of government.

As CNN reports, last Thursday State Department spokesman John Kirby was giving a briefing about ISIS to journalists.

Suddenly, he stopped.

"You're playing the Pokemon thing right there, aren't you?" said Kirby to an unnamed journalist, according to the CNN footage of the briefing.

The journalist reportedly confessed to his misdeed, as if it was the most normal thing on earth.

"I'm just keeping an eye on it," he said.

Oh, that's alright then.

You might imagine that Kirby would have been a touch exasperated. Here was a journalist, there to listen to details about fighting a terrorist organization, who couldn't tear himself away from the game du jour.

But Kirby is a professional. He continued with his briefing.

Until, that is, he turned to the reporter again, "Did you get one?" he asked.

The journalist, seeming still not to offer even a tinge of embarrassment, replied: "No, the signal's not very good."

Kirby looked at him with eyes barely concealing contempt and lips that would have dearly loved to tell him what he really thought,

Instead, he said: "I'm sorry about that."

Some might hope that the journalist did get more than a nasty stare from his employer when he got back to the office.

But it's not as if politicians themselves are immune from turning to gadgets when they're on official business.

There was the Indonesian anti-porn lawmaker who was caught on his iPad during a parliamentary debate. Oddly, he was watching porn.

During a parliamentary debate in Italy, a politician was caught surfing an escort site. (He blamed the iPad.)

And then there was Senator John McCain. He was caught playing smartphone poker during a debate about Syria.

Gadgets have us all in their grip. Soon, they'll be running the country.

The State Department declined to comment or provide further details on the incident.