I have to admit that I've largely forgotten the context of the refrain or indeed the plot of the serial, but I do think I remember the implied meaning; which was that business is a purely business matter, and has nothing to do with the pleasantries of a cup of tea or more generally with any other larger issues. Both can go on simultaneously and separately.
And so it is. If any proof is needed of this, the change in business fortunes of the Turkish shoe company that claims to have manufactured the shoe in the Bush shoe-flinging incident certainly appears to be reaping the windfall from the publicity.
As the New Yourk Times reports
A new run of 15,000 pairs, destined for Iraq, went into production on Thursday, he said. A British distributor has asked to become the Baydan Shoe Company’s European sales representative, with a first order of 95,000 pairs, and an American company has placed an order for 18,000 pairs. Four distributors are competing to represent the company in Iraq, where Baydan sold 19,000 pairs of this model for about $40 each last year.UNQUOTE
So whatever the political or legal implications of the incident might be, businesspeople from around the world are certainly treating is as a business-event.
After all, business is business and a shoe is a shoe.