Political typecasting

It is a well-known phenomenon, that some well-known actors find themselves too prominently identified as themselves to be appreciated as the character they are playing. So it is, I think, with Boris Johnson in his new role as foreign secretary. The BBC and other news outlets ran headlines yesterday saying

Boris Johnson to meet with EU counterparts.

For an instant I was genuinely puzzled. You’re supposed to understand this as

UK foreign secretary to meet with foreign ministers of other EU countries.

But I could only read it as “Boris Johnson is to meet with pompous upper-class clowns who are somehow similar to him in other EU countries”, which somewhat stymied me in trying to think of an example.

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