Friday, March 20, 2009

CTFD: The Prez Meets the Chin, Controversy Ensues

History was made Thursday night when President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to appear on The Tonight Show. For the most part, it wasn't the typical chatter that you hear on these types of shows. Some of the topics discussed during the president's interview with Jay Leno were the bonuses paid out to AIG employees, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and changing the "blame game" culture in Washington.

Towards the end of the interview, the tone became lighthearted as President Obama talked about the Final Four, flying on Air Force One, and his bowling skills. It's this last topic that will likely have people talking long after the President leaves the NBC studio in Burbank. After Obama stated that he rolled a 129-point game, Leno congratulated him sarcastically. This led to the president commenting "Like the Special Olympics or something". I cringed because I knew that members of the right would be grinning like the butcher's dog. Reports that the Fox News Channel got a collective woodie when they heard about the president's comments are true. Because Keith Olbermann saw the appearance before it aired, he discussed the incident on his show last night. Shortly thereafter, Obama haters started spewing their venom in the comments attached to the Olbermann clip. Funny, sad and oh so predictable.

Did the president fuck up? Yes. Should it be blown out of proportion? I don't think so. What do you think?

Below is the clip containing President Obama's "Special Olympics" comment:


Sheri/Cookingmom said...

I thought he did great. I don't regularly make fun of disabled people, but truly, who hasn't made a similar joke at some time or another? I have a half-brother with cerebral palsy, and I was in no way offended. My daughter Lauren was having a clumsy day once, and I joked that maybe she should wear a helmet. I certainly wasn't making fun of disabled people, just Lauren. Obama wasn't making fun of disabled people; he was making fun of himself for sucking so badly at bowling.

Kristi Mantoni said...

Yeah, what Sheri said! I couldn't have said it better!

JohnH985 said...

I was watching the interview and as soon as he said it I knew it would be trouble. Like you, I agree he shouldn't have said it, but he screwed up and apologized for it before he even left L.A. calling the head of the Special Olypmics and apologizing. Like Sheri said it wasn't that he was making fun of Special Olympic kids it was that he was making fun of his skills as a bowler.

pjazzypar said...

People who are against Obama are definitely going to spin this in a negative way. He really was making fun of his own skill as John stated. I wonder what the Special Olympics corner is thinking. It is not an insult to be physically challenged, it is just a way of life for some people. I worked for many years with developmentally disabled individuals. We use to go bowling regularly and most of them could kick my butt bowling. In this instance I was the challenged one worthy of a position on the Special Olympics roster. Is that an insult to Special Olympians? I don't think so, it just means I don't bowl as well as most bowlers.

Malcolm said...

Thanks to everyone who commented. Although the incident got some press as it should (after all, it involves the President of the U.S.), I was glad to see that the media outlets didn't blow it out of proportion. Even Hannity defended Obama!

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