State Department spokesman utters name of Russian punk band to reporters’ giggles


Members of punk band "Pussy Riot," attend their trial in Moscow. (MAXIM SHEMETOV/REUTERS)

A: Naughty words make them both blush.

During a recent State Department briefing, reporters finally goaded State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell into using the full name of the feminist Russian punk band whose members are on trial for performing songs criticizing Russian President Vladmir Putin.After referring to the band several times by the generic label “the punk rock band,” reporters pressed him to be more specific.

To which punk band was he referring, they wondered? There must be hundreds of ’em, after all! Reporters were not about to let him get away with such a display of modesty.

“They are indeed called...” Ventrell began, before switching up his sentence construction. “Pussy Riot is the name of the band.”

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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