Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 20, 2009

TAPPER, TWITTER, AND ONLINE ETIQUETTE.... It was bound to be of interest to the political world anyway, but ABC News' Jake Tapper helped get the ball rolling on the Special Olympics/Obama story last night. He was first out of the gate with a news item and a report on the president's comment on his Twitter feed.

Not surprisingly, this generated the inevitable Drudge link. Tapper kept the discussion going with additional thoughts on potential Democratic hypocrisy (what if Bush had said the same thing) and potential Republican hypocrisy (conservatives usually hate political correctness).

My friend Adam Serwer noted some hypocrisy of his own:

Funny, I was thinking the same thing about press who moments ago believed the president had "too much on his plate" now deciding that the country should spend a whole day talking about an offensive joke.

In any case, you should know that Tapper's really disappointed about his 9 PM blog post getting picked up by Drudge, possibly driving the day and leading to all this "hypocrisy" when we have two wars and an economic crisis to deal with. That's the last thing Tapper wanted when he hyped this "breaking" news last night.

Soon after, Tapper blocked Adam from following his Twitter feed.

And around the same time, TPM was tweaking Tapper over his Twitter observations. So, Tapper blocked TPM from following his Twitter feed, too.

Now, I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on Twitter etiquette; I'm not even on Twitter. But blocking those who offer mild criticism seems kind of petty. When it comes from a journalist who frequently addresses the importance of transparency, it's especially bad form.

Update: It looks like Tapper realizes he'd made a mistake, and unblocked TPM. Good for Jake. No word, though, about lifting the block on the others, including Adam.

Second Update: All's well that ends well, and Tapper, to his credit, has unblocked those who'd been blocked.

Third Update: In the interest of a complete record, here's Tapper's explaination of what transpired, written before TPM, Adam, and others were unblocked: "I'm trying to use Twitter as a way to communicate with all sorts of people from all over the political spectrum, as a place for feedback, polite argument, and dialogue. I learned that the AP was taking Coach K's quote out of context from a Tweet; it ended up on Good Morning America this morning. I want this way to talk to people. I don't want it to turn into what the comment section of my blog has become. The only people who have been blocked are people who make ad hominem attacks. They're still fully able to read my Tweets -- I just don't care to read theirs."

For what it's worth, I don't think Adam or TPM made "ad hominem attacks" before getting blocked, but let's just move on, shall we?

Fourth Update: Apparently, the addendums weren't quite clear enough, so let's try this again.

To review, Tapper wrote a few items on Twitter. TPM, Serwer, and others wrote related items, which were critical of Tapper. Tapper then blocked TPM, Serwer, and others (though they, like anyone else could still log on to Twitter and read Tapper's tweets). When this generated some attention, Tapper unblocked TPM and said, "My bad." Soon after, Tapper unblocked Serwer and the others, too. I then credited Tapper for doing the right thing.

By late Friday, Tapper explained this had nothing to do with transparency, and was simply about blocking those who "make ad hominem attacks." (Blocking people on Twitter is a bit like blocking abusive blog commenters -- they can still read your content, but you don't have to read their responses.)

I sincerely hope this is the last we'll speak of this.

Steve Benen 12:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (69)

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Comments

This is nothing but Manufactured Outrage!

It was a dumb joke, with Obama himself being the butt of said joke. I saw it on CNN this morning with Brad Blakeman going all ballistic.

Nothing but manufactured outrage. Period.

Posted by: MsJoanne on March 20, 2009 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

On a related note, Tapper's comment section is heavily moderated. They delete a lot of polite, critical comments. Or at least that's been my experience.

Posted by: Crust on March 20, 2009 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Crust, that has been my experience, as well. I posted a rebuttal to Tapper once, which included quotes and such (no links in case they didn't allow that) and it, along with other comments, never got posted. Just disappeared into cyber oblivion.

Posted by: MsJoanne on March 20, 2009 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Tapper has always been quite amazingly juvenile, petty and thin-skinned, to go along with his remarkable lack of professional aptitude.

And Obama should have known better. That joke wasn't okay under any circumstances.

Posted by: shortstop on March 20, 2009 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Michelle Malkin blocked Tbogg from her Twitter feed as well.

Posted by: Rich2506 on March 20, 2009 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

The proper internet term to describe Tapper's behavior is "butthurt".

Posted by: FMguru on March 20, 2009 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Obama could block Tapper from being critical of Obama, and that way Tapper wouldn't have to block other people from being critical of Tapper and then when we're all done blocking everybody from saying mean things we can give everybody participation medals for trying their bestest.

Oh that's right, we call that the Bush years.

Grow the f* up Tapper.

I will now block myself, since I was critical.

Posted by: Earl on March 20, 2009 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Tapper has assigned himself as
Official Turd in the Punchbowl.

I think he likes it.

Posted by: apeman on March 20, 2009 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

People such as shortstop who can not laugh at themselves need to grow up! As a long time friend who happens to be a minority says "get over it" when talking to other minorities.

Posted by: captain dan on March 20, 2009 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Twitter. I just joined this last week. I figured if McCain and the Republicans were using it and making such a big deal out of it, I should see what the attraction is.

If you haven't joined Twitter (please don't take this as an advert), you should check it out if only to see why Republicans seem to love it:

1). Short, slogan-conversations (only 140 words per tweet)

2). Block anyone who opposes your ideas

3). Broadcast to all your "followers"

4). Broadcast without interaction or meaningful conversation.

5). Simple and easy to use.

I could go on...

Posted by: jwk on March 20, 2009 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Bush had no time to work on Special Olympics jokes, he was busy filming blooper clips on the search for WMD.

Posted by: eightnine2718281828mu5 on March 20, 2009 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Oh man, is this the going galt version of twittering? Please, please, please can Jake Tapper and Michelle Malkin please block *me?* from receiving their twitterings? Pretty please.

aimai

Posted by: aimai on March 20, 2009 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

TWIT er.

Nuf said.

Posted by: Jeff In Ohio on March 20, 2009 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Twitter has a natural appeal to people who are both trivial and egotistical.

Stupid babies.

It's for people who don't have the patience to figure out how to work a blog, and for people who can't form a thought coherent enough to think anyone would read.

Posted by: alan on March 20, 2009 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Wow! That is hilarious. Seems on par with a crank caller cutting you off.

Posted by: tomj on March 20, 2009 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

amazingly juvenile, petty and thin-skinned,

That's the DC axis of inanity. Pompous little pills.

Posted by: alan on March 20, 2009 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

"But blocking those who offer mild criticism seems kind of petty."

Yes, but it is also entirely consistent with a member of the mainstream media, who view news as a top-down enterprise, and access as the sole currency of their business.

Posted by: code-breaker on March 20, 2009 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Obama apologized for the joke. And graciously, too.

that should end it, but, unfortunately.....

Posted by: g on March 20, 2009 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

If only Tapper would block all of us from reading his inanity on ALL media, we'd be better off.

Posted by: short fuse on March 20, 2009 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Acts like putting a turd in the punchbowl make me reconsider my opposition to the death penalty.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on March 20, 2009 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Tapper is channeling Roland Headley from Doonesbury. He sounds about as shallow.

Posted by: PS on March 20, 2009 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

That's the DC axis of inanity. Pompous little pills.

Seriously. When I recall Tapper's puffed-up imitation of a tough investigative journalist (all he needed was a porkpie hat with a press card stuck in the band) as he grilled Gibbs on Obama's commitment to transparency and Tapper's yowls about no press at Plouffe's NPC speech, it's hard not to crack up laughing. He is such a prime ass, and has absolutely no idea how he comes off to the world outside the Village.

Posted by: shortstop on March 20, 2009 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I heard that George Stephanopoulos got blocked too. And David Gregory is blocked on Stephanopoulos's feed. And Tapper's blocked on McCain's feed I think. And Meghan McCain apparently caused a furor too - but that's because she tweeted about Obama's basketball picks - or something like that. Oh, And I hear there's an on-air gay couple working at ABC now - I saw it on ABC's "Skinny" report on the overnight broadcast. Did you study for the health test today? I'm going to fail, I know it. My Mom's going to kill me.


Posted by: eric on March 20, 2009 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

How dare Obama make fun of special olympians by comparing them with himself!

Posted by: rea on March 20, 2009 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

worth noting that tapper's recently deceased brother in law had williams syndrome. He was a former high school classmate of mine, and was a dear and special person in every sense of that word. Twitter is a hybrid public/personal medium. gotta respect a guy's sensitivity to these issues.

Posted by: anonymous on March 20, 2009 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

For what it's worth, Tapper has blogged my comments on his onling blog that were critical of errors he made. I've since given up reading anything he publishes.

Posted by: Continuum on March 20, 2009 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

gotta respect a guy's sensitivity to these issues.

Yeah, we will, as soon as he expresses himself with professionalism, judgment and rationality instead of defensiveness, ego and pique.

Posted by: shortstop on March 20, 2009 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Getting so freaking tired of this "too much on his plate" meme.

Presidents always have too much on their plate even without the crises we have going on now. Just because Bush couldn't walk and chew gum doesn't mean other presidents can't. No president can exclusive focus on one thing and one thing only - the modern world won't allow for that.

Posted by: ET on March 20, 2009 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly, I thought it was a rather funny self-deprecating joke.

Reality is rude. Wisecracks and jokes are a way of dealing with the ambient awfulness of it all without letting it get us down too much. I'm sure the folks at the Special Olympics mean well but I can't help but wonder how many of them would relish the chance of being a contestant at one of their own events.

They might also want to ask themselves what happens when you don't allow people an outlet for their anxieties. Way I remember it, the last time political correctness rule the roost we got Rush Limbaugh for our trouble. I think we'd better keep the jokes.

Posted by: ratcliffe on March 20, 2009 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I'm almost certain that Keith Olbermann was "first out of the gate" on the Special Olympics comment. During his show in the 8:00 hour last night, while talking with Craig Ferguson, Keith said that, being an NBC employee and also being in the same building where the program was taped, he had seen the President's appearance on "The Tonight Show". He reported that he was funny, the audience loved him, but that he made somewhat of a gaffe, and he told his audience and Ferguson the "Special Olympics" quote. Keith scooped everyone on the President's appearance.

Judging from the timestamp on Jakey's byline, he heard the story while watching Keith Olbermann, and immediately "reported" it, with no attribution for Olbermann, of course.

Posted by: JenJen on March 20, 2009 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Tapper's got quite a track record. Remember this classic of Village investigative journalism?
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/04/obama-is-smokin.html

Posted by: Mike on March 20, 2009 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

To Obama's credit, I heard about the apology on the late-night news, before the 2am repeat of Leno.

Mistake? yes. Epic failure? not nearly. M

Posted by: mdh on March 20, 2009 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

More on Tapper not giving a h/t to Olbermann for the "Obama Gaffe Scoop"...

While watching Olbermann and hearing the story, I immediately sent a text message to a friend saying, "KO just said Obama compared his bowling score to the Special Olympics on his Leno appearance." I just checked the timestamp on that text... 8:49 pm.

Jakey's timestamp on his "story"? 8:56 pm.

Not that this is devastating evidence, of course, but I'm convinced Jakey ripped off the story from KO, without attribution. Blogger Ethics Panel! :-)

Posted by: JenJen on March 20, 2009 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Am I the only one who remembers that Tapper's big break was a sleazy piece about his date with Monica Lewinsky for the DC alt-weekly?

Posted by: Jack Harkness on March 20, 2009 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Jake Tapper is titanic pussy.

Posted by: Buggy Ding Dong on March 20, 2009 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

It was a simple (but not too bright)gaffe.
Privately, it would have been a bit more funny and no biggie. It's the risk you run when you get too relaxed and start joking--in front of the whole nation, as President.

As I said earlier, folks need to point out the larger picture that is far more substantive than his gaffe: Namely that Obama fully intends for his policies to protect and empower the ADA--as per his detailed response to a disabled man at the LA Town Hall meeting just a couple of hours before his Leno taping.

Posted by: Insanity on March 20, 2009 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

eric wins the thread.

Posted by: Tyro on March 20, 2009 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

So What?

peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on March 20, 2009 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

The Village obviously has an infantilizing effect.

Posted by: SRW1 on March 20, 2009 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

So, what we should do is: the unblocked ones (such as you, Steve, perhaps?) should feed the twit's twitters to TPM and Adam, so they can still call bs.

Posted by: Radha on March 20, 2009 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Wow! Republicans are sooooo PC. I hope we don't hurt their feelings and sensibilities. Poor poor victims.

Posted by: Patrick on March 20, 2009 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Your honor, can we stipulate that Jake Tapper is an enormous tool? Let's agree and move on.

Posted by: Quicksand on March 20, 2009 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously, everyone can read Jakey's tweets/twitters/whatever anytime they like, even if they've been blocked by Jakey. Just log out, and put the URL back in.

Conclusion: Jake either doesn't realize that, or does realize that, and only did the "blocking" as a pissy WATB gesture, since it serves no other purpose.

I'm going with the latter.

Posted by: JenJen on March 20, 2009 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

It's getting harder and harder to take this blog seriously.

Posted by: grinning cat on March 20, 2009 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

well, yes, Tapper is a big tool. but, if his 'twitter feed' about Obama's bad joke really was at 9, then Keith Olbermann beat him to the story by a good 20 minutes or so. he was the first person I heard mention it during his 8 o'clock broadcast. didn't hear about Tapper until today.

Posted by: onceler on March 20, 2009 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

@onceler - I totally agree. I had KO saying it around 8:49, in the comments above:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_03/017378.php#1473569

Tapper didn't attribute the "scoop" to KO, of course.

Posted by: JenJen on March 20, 2009 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

It's getting harder and harder to take this blog seriously. -grinning cat

I'm actually fascinated by the way old media is dipping their toe into new media, especially Twitter. It seems to have captured the fascination of so many on the right of late, and I'm pleased that Steve is filling me in on it.

Posted by: doubtful on March 20, 2009 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

that joke was not funny. it was not self deprecating. he said "I bowl like a retard". that is making fun of people with disabilities. creepy. not amusing at all. a weird comment. I'd never say it. it's insulting. obama deserves to be called out on it. and that is why the leno appearance was a terrible idea. sitting around joking in the middle of a depression is arrogant. his humor is at other people's expense lots of times. recall his nancy reagan crack in his first news conference. stop trying to be funny and just be president. bring on the flames obamabots.

Posted by: doh on March 20, 2009 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

I am sure that Michael Savage will take time off from mocking children with autism to express some foppishly feigned outrage over the President Obama bad joke gaffe.

I am also sure that there will be plenty of South Park Republicans who will stop laughing at AIDS jokes long enough to be outraged, outraged at Obama too.

-GSD

Posted by: GSD on March 20, 2009 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Time to flush Twitter down the shitter.

Posted by: Chilisize on March 20, 2009 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

The thing that gets me is that Tapper doesn't seem to know what the joke was.

Remember how Tapper got all up in arms during the campaign about Bill Clinton saying that we should slow down all industry in order to counteract global warming? And how what Clinton _actually_ said that _some people_ might suggest that, but he wouldn't? And how Tapper wasn't really listening, because he's, um, lazy and bores easily?

Anyway, IMHO Obama's joke wasn't that he bowled as badly as a retarded person. It was that Leno's patronizing praise of his improved bowling skill was like something out of the Special Olympics: he didn't do very well by objective standards but was being heaped with encouragement for doing his best. It was a variation on the joke how at the Special Olympics, everyone gets a trophy. It's mildly untoward, and I think it's fair for Obama to catch a little grief.

But Jake Tapper _drew a daily comic strip_ when he was in college. I know because I was at the same college at the same time. His strip was actually pretty good. So he should understand jokes. But this time, honestly, he's not even trying.

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on March 20, 2009 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

That being said, I agree that Obama was a callous moron for making such a weak attempt at humor.

Perhaps he should get Carlos Mencia off of the payroll.

It was stupid, especially after he gave Joe Biden the thousand yard staredown for making a joke about Justice Roberts.

President Obama, enough with the basketball predictions and chat shows. Get to work or give your wife the job.

-GSD

Posted by: GSD on March 20, 2009 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives love Twitter because with Twitter they can imagine themselves the center of their own little cult of personality, idly sending out Papal Bulls to their 'folowers'.

Posted by: alan on March 20, 2009 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently transparency for Jake Tapper is a one-way mirror.

Posted by: Greytdog Δ on March 20, 2009 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

If George Bush had uttered the Special Olympics remark, the wingnuts would be having a good laugh over it, and excoriating liberals for not having a sense of humor.
.

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on March 20, 2009 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

@jwk "If you haven't joined Twitter (please don't take this as an advert), you should check it out if only to see why Republicans seem to love it:

1). Short, slogan-conversations (only 140 words per tweet)..."

It's actually 140 *characters* per Tweet, but since we're talking about Repubs, your point still stands. :)

This whole thing w/ Tapper was highly amusing to observe as it evolved.

Posted by: Lurker on March 20, 2009 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, the Twitter Tapper of little keys ...

Jake Tapper is a pompous ass, whose apparent professional role model was WJM's airheaded anchorman Ted Baxter (Ted Knight) of the old Mary Tyler Moore show.

Tapper's reporting is overdependent upon Beltway gossip, and his analytical skills are cursory and superficial. In a recent ABC News report that ostensibly covered a Senate confirmation hearing, he appeared to spend the better part of that segment talking instead about the nominee's taste in country / western music.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 20, 2009 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Because I didn't catch it during a quick scan of the comments, I think it is highly pertinent to remind everyone that Douche Limpballs when he was on his 'the media are all Obamas' buttboys' rant a week or so ago specifically excluded Jake Tapper from 'Obama buttboy' status.

Yeah, Jake is Rush's buttboy and nobody better forget it. For my money, ABC News is the absolute worst of the three broadcast networks when it comes to anti-progressive, pro-repug 'reporting'.

Posted by: tellybelly on March 20, 2009 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Let's get real here and look at the larger picture of who the guy is, what he stands for and what he's endorsed and what is true intent is.
============================================

Yes, I notice Obama can get a bit snarky, kinda like he's rolling his eyes with an "Oh, please, are you serious?" thought rolling around his head. He doesn't hesitate at times to blurt out things--as he did about wimpy D.C. residents whom call for a snow day and closed school at the first glimpse of the white stuff. Apparently that too offended locals.

I don't condone what he said,
but I see it more as just as habit--at times he
tends to risk a bit to get a joke, to lighten up the room, to play ball..

He's used to socializing a good deal with Chicago Urbanites who enjoy a good banter like this, so it's automatic and he's still learning to be P.C.

In this case, he joked with Leno, who egged him on with sarcasm. Again, if he was in Leno's living room it wouldn't have been a big deal at all. It was in poor taste to do this publicly as President (and I'm sure he'll think twice in the future)--but hey, put this in perspective!

Obama is clearly a good hearted man who indeed advocates for the disabled-- and he's passionate about expanding civil liberties for marginalized/ oppressed groups in general.

Look at all the ridiculously blatantly offensive things Republicans have said...like the mysogynistic stuff that came out of McCain/Bush--
and the policies they thwarted time and again, like Lily Ledbetter and so forth.

Not saying two wrongs make a right--but you can't even begin to adequately or fairly compare this minor gaffe with what the 'party of NO' has said and done.

Gotta look at the whole picture here.

Posted by: Insanity on March 20, 2009 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

It's not just a matter of Tapper barring comments on Twitter. He's been actively censoring his blog's comments for quite some time.

Most of his comments are pretty clueless, thoughtless invective by some partisan or another... but I have tried on occasion -- whenever I notice Tapper saying something which simply isn't balanced or factually accurate -- to make a comment, politely letting him know the facts and linking to relevant articles... only to have these comments taken down later, oftentimes within minutes.

Today, I left a comment on his blog, politely asking him for his comments regarding this whole issue, linking to the Think Progress post about his censorship... only to have my post removed within minutes.

I subsequently reposted my comment, amending it to let readers know that the first comment seems to have been "accidentally" removed.

This time around, the comment was left up, but the actual link to Think Progress was manually stripped out.

Something tells me that Jake either doesn't *get* the blogosphere... or that he simply is in the business of routinely silencing valid criticism. Hopefully he's learning today though that he can't expect to constantly engage in this kind of behavior and not get called on it.

Posted by: Mark Kraft on March 20, 2009 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Jake Tapper IS a twit... er.

Posted by: Mark F on March 20, 2009 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

I should clarify... some blogs are configured to automatically strip hyperlinks out of comments. That's not the case with Jake's blog. It allows hyperlinks, and, in fact, will automatically turn the text of a link into a valid hyperlink.

So, what happened, basically, is that someone moderating Jake's blog first deleted my original post, then, when it became clear I was going to keep posting and embarrass Jake in front of his readers by pointing out any future acts of censorship, they manually edited my post, stripped out the link in question, and even altered the text of my post slightly.

Not Jake's best day, I think... Let's hope that someone over at ABC News sits him down and has a talk with him, because it doesn't just reflect badly on him, but on the whole organization.

Posted by: Mark Kraft on March 20, 2009 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

a) President does something stupid (again)

b) Journalist reports it

c) Journalist gets criticized.

What an interesting dynamic.

Posted by: a on March 20, 2009 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

a) a thinks of something stupid to say about Democrats.

b) a posts his stupid thought.

c) a gets criticized.

See now how that dynamic works?

Posted by: Out & About in The Castro on March 20, 2009 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Further proof if proof was needed of why exactly is is that Jake Twitter is employed by MickeyMouseTV.

Posted by: TCinLA on March 20, 2009 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Jake Tapper is a sub-par journalist (maybe that should be "over par"), so to make up for it, he latches onto trivial, Obama-bashing fare in the the hopes that The Drudge Report will grant him the honor of a mention on its front page. His skin is so thin, though, that you could read the New York Post or the Washington Times through it. Check out the community that has amassed on his blog page, too, and you'll think you've stumbled upon Free Republic, or the worst of Red State. I wonder why that is.

Posted by: buddhistMonkey on March 20, 2009 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

First of all, from where I was sitting (in front of the TV), Obama said he had got his bowling score up to 129, Leno said that he was doing a good job, and then Obama made his "Special Olympics" comment. To me, this was Obama joking that being complimented on bowling 129 was a "Special Olympics moment". Doesn't make it any better, but if we acknowledge that the Special Olympics are known for congratulating everyone (as they should), it could be constructed as a shout out to the Special Olympics. Obama's call to the head of the Special Olympics would seem to back that up?

And what is worse, Obama making a lame joke, or Governor Palin TURNING DOWN 45% of her stimulus money, and not just any 45%, but the 45% SPECIFICALLY going to education (and special needs children)? The message I get from that is members of the American Taliban (is the Religious Right any different than the Taliban at this point?) don't value education. Isn't that the bigger sin?

Posted by: Oz on March 20, 2009 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

FlipYrWhig said:

Anyway, IMHO Obama's joke wasn't that he bowled as badly as a retarded person. It was that Leno's patronizing praise of his improved bowling skill was like something out of the Special Olympics: he didn't do very well by objective standards but was being heaped with encouragement for doing his best. It was a variation on the joke how at the Special Olympics, everyone gets a trophy.
Thank god someone gets it.

Yes. The President shouldn't have said this, but was a very mild offense by any reasonable standard.

And it is one he appologized for. Sincerely and as soon as he realized how it could be taken.

Posted by: tanstaafl on March 20, 2009 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

In my previous post, I put the last line in the blockquote outside the html codes for the blockquote. It is my words, not FlipYrWhig's.

Posted by: tanstaafl on March 20, 2009 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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