CNN’s John Berman calls the umbrella struggle ‘a tortured process of self-discovery for the prime minister, who seems to be familiarizing himself with this advanced technology for the very first time’
On Wednesday, Mr Johnson struggled to open his umbrella during the rainy unveiling of a memorial to slain police officers. Eventually, the prime minister turned the device inside out, as Prince Charles chuckled beside him. Footage of the moment quickly went viral.
On CNN, anchorman John Berman narrated the incident with the utmost seriousness.
“Now I should warn you, you may be shocked by this,” Mr Berman begins.
He then rolls the tape of the entire sequence of events, from Mr Johnson’s first failed attempt to Prince Charles’ chuckle.
“Okay, there’s a lot to digest there, so I want to break it down into parts,” Mr Berman analyzes.
“First, the prime minister notices it’s raining. He also notices he has an umbrella, which he tries to deploy. Now, I say ‘try,’ because this is a tortured process of self-discovery for the prime minister, who seems to be familiarizing himself with this advanced technology for the very first time.”
Mr Berman also delves into the moment Mr Johnson offers his temporarily-opened umbrella to Priti Patel, Britain’s home secretary, who turns it down with a hand gesture.
“Her response, more or less: Not on your life!” the journalist explains. “Not just no, but ‘talk to the hand’ no – a combination of pity and disdain, as if to say, ‘You’re not dragging me into this.’”
Next comes the climactic moment at which Mr Johnson turns his umbrella inside-out.
“And then, Johnson basically says, ‘Hold my beer,’” Mr Berman says before rolling the footage.
However, the part the CNN anchor finds most objectionable is not Mr Johnson’s bumbling, but Prince Charles’ reaction to it.
“He laughs as if to say, ‘Commoner!’” Mr Berman says. “He laughs in the manner of a person who has inherited all his umbrellas.”
The American newsman opines that while failing to open an umbrella is bad, failing to help a man failing to open an umbrella is worse.
“Yes, the prime minister is bad at umbrellas – maybe even incompetent,” Mr Berman concludes. “But at least it is elected incompetence. And that is something to be proud of… I guess.”