The incident was amusing enough, but the mainstream media have compounded the amusement.
The St. Petersburg Times published two associated stories, one regarding the reactions to the meeting and the other about the gaffe. The first was apparently based on AP material. The second drew content from Glenn Kessler's story for The Washington Post. The story seems to underemphasize the degree of embarrassment the State Department suffered after having "worked hard" on the translation.
And while going a bit soft on the gaffe, reporters including the estimable Robert Burns described the incident incorrectly. The video clearly shows that Clinton opened the box and handed the button mock-up to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, yet Burns' story reads thus:
Clinton handed Lavrov a green box tied with a green bow. He opened it to reveal a "reset button," a reminder of Vice President Joe Biden's recent remark that the Obama administration hopes to reset U.S. relations with Moscow.Kessler:
Clinton began the meal by presenting Lavrov with a palm-size box wrapped in a green ribbon. Lavrov opened it up and pulled out a small plastic box with a red button that clicked — a symbol of the Obama administration's determination to "reset" the relationship.Roll the video:
Note to the press: Get basic facts right, including incidental ones like this, and you have a better chance of getting people to trust your reporting.
Note to readers: Content providers have been more aggressive lately in getting material removed from YouTube, including the video I linked. However, the remaining still image shows Clinton with the box already opened in one hand the and the button held in the other. Lavrov did not remove the button from the box as reported in the press.