CNBC Host Apparently Unaware Ireland And The United Kingdom Are Different Countries


Why it’s important to pay attention in Geography class:

KERNEN: What about Scotland? I was using Scottish pounds.

SHANAHAN: Scottish pounds, yes. They use sterling.

KERNEN: They use sterling?

SHANAHAN: They use sterling. But we use euro.

KERNEN: WHAT? Why would you do that?

SHANAHAN: Why wouldn’t we do that?

KERNEN: Why didn’t Scotland? No wonder they want to break away.

SHANAHAN: They’re part of the UK, we’re not.

KERNEN: Aren’t you right next to …

SHANAHAN: We’re very close, but entirely separate, as you know.

KERNEN: It’s sort of the same island, isn’t it?

SHANAHAN: And in the North of Ireland, they have sterling …


SHANAHAN: … but we have euro.

KERNEN: It’s just too confusing.

FILED UNDER: Humor, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. CSK says:

    I watched this halfway through and then had to shut it down on the grounds that I suffer too badly from vicarious embarrassment.

  2. Franklin says:

    All of Ireland used to be part of the UK. Maybe he took geography back then. 🙂

  3. gVOR08 says:

    My first thought was that the Irish guy must think these are a pair of prize yokels, but I would bet this isn’t the first time he’s seen this with Americans.

  4. Just Me says:

    I’m American and I know that Ireland (exempting Northern Ireland) is not part of the UK.

    No I confess I might not be able to tell you what kind of currency various European countries use but Inwould not have been confused about Scotland, Ireland and the UK. I also think the answer about sterling vs Euro was easy to understand but clearly the geography challenged reporter couldn’t gradp it.

  5. wr says:

    Well, clearly our nation should be run by business people, because they are the wisest and best educated among us.

    Thank you, CNBC for proving that to us.

  6. JohnMcC says:


  7. John Peabody says:

    In the movie “King Ralph”, John Goodman plays the American suddenly thrust into the monarchy- he becomes the ruling King of “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. He messes up his own title several times (he must speak it at ceremonies, etc)…by the end of the movie, I sadly realized that this movie has solidified my personal geography of the British Isles.

    Geography is hard!

  8. PD Shaw says:

    I think Kernan is trolling the guest, which they do from time to time over there.

  9. ernieyeball says:

    June 10, 2009. Five Years and Five Months Ago…

    …was the last day my tube transmitted TV. I never went Digital. Its 13″ CRT has presented only DVD reproductions since then.
    Thanks Doug for reminding me that I haven’t been missing a thing.

  10. Guarneri says:

    C’mon guys. PD is right, and you’ve all been punked.

  11. bill says:

    maybe they’ll bring in some guests from scandinavia next….that could really screw up his geograpic wizardry.

    @wr: um, our current prez (with no business background) is no geographical whiz either- should i go on about that?

  12. wr says:

    @bill: “um, our current prez (with no business background) is no geographical whiz either- should i go on about that?”

    Yes, bill, because nothing proves how clever you are like dredging up crap that was repeated ad infinitum on every moron right wing site six years ago. It shows us exactly what an original and important thinker you are.

  13. gVOR08 says:

    @wr: Nor proves how few gaffes Obama makes like dragging out six year old examples.

  14. bill says:

    @wr: 6 yrs, that was just then- he’s been “less than smart” since. the dreaded “gulf ports” of charleston, savannah, jacksonville……was just last year. maybe they don’t teach geography in school anymore…..?
    but of course the msm can’t call out a black guy for saying stupid stuff, unless he’s a republican- otherwise it’s “racist”!
    i’m sure you’re feeling mighty sore today since the overthrow of the gov’t by the same people who put obama in office twice. yes, dumb people vote for dumb stuff- hence he got elected twice.
    enjoy the grapes, however sour they are now.

  15. Franklin says:

    Stay classy, Bill!