As I predicted (it wasn’t that hard to predict), President Obama has apologized for his joke about the Special Olympics on Leno last night.
Obama’s comments to Jay Leno about his low bowling score – in particular, an off-the-cuff remark that it was “like Special Olympics or something” – had the chief executive calling Special Olympics chairman Tim Shriver from Air Force One on Thursday before the program even aired.
“He expressed his disappointment and apologized,” Shriver told Friday’s edition of ABC’s Good Morning America. “He was very sincere.”
In a statement issued Friday, White House spokesman Bill Burton said, “The President made an offhand remark making fun of his own bowling that was in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics. He thinks that the Special Olympics are a wonderful program that gives an opportunity to shine to people with disabilities from around the world.”
Shriver also noted that “words hurt and words do matter, and these words that in some respect can be seen as humiliating … do cause pain.” He further said that he hopes the president’s slip of the tongue “a teachable moment for our country.”
Wow, he called the dude before the program even aired. And called it a “teachable moment.” Very impressive, Mr. President.
March 20, 2009 at 9:33 am by Evil Beet
For the first time ever, Jay Leno interviewed a sitting U.S. President on The Tonight Show. And it’ll probably be the last time, after Obama made his first major PR gaffe as President. Obama said he recently bowled a 129. Leno responded, sarcastically, “Oh, that’s very good, Mr. President.” Obama quipped back with, “It’s like Special Olympics or something,” and then laughed.
At this point, Leno basically freezes. You can tell he realizes that this is an enormous mistake on the part of Obama, and isn’t sure how to handle it. He decides to play along and disregard the comment. If this had been a less beloved President — say, oh, George W. Bush — you better believe Leno would have stopped right there and made a fool of him. But he tried to cover for President Obama as best he could.
Sheesh, even I know better than to make Special Olympics jokes. It’s just one of those things that my brain is hard-wired to stop. Like, I’ll feel one coming out, and my brain is just reflexively like, “No, Beet. No Special Olympics jokes. Those hurt feelings and get us into trouble.” Plus, I find that whenever I want to make a joke about the mentally disabled, I can substitute Lindsay Lohan and the joke still works. It’s a neat trick.
Expect an apology from President Obama’s camp tomorrow.
March 19, 2009 at 9:27 pm by Evil Beet
Turns out something on this planet can compete with American Idol!
Barack Obama’s first speech to Congress was a ratings win, bringing in 52.4 million viewers across cable and broadcast networks. VERY impressive, Mr. President!
Whatever. I’m still bitter than they moved Idol for this speech. It just messes up my whole week to have Idol airing Wednesday/Thursday. Don’t you think the country should have to vote on things like this? Why couldn’t Obama have given this speech on Monday? How do I watch Top Chef and Idol tonight? And do my recap?? It’s like nobody thinks about my needs anymore.
You can watch President’s full address in the video above.
February 25, 2009 at 3:56 pm by Evil Beet
The New York Post ran a cartoon in today’s issue that has some people really upset. The comic depicts President Obama as a dead chimpanzee. The picture is meant to draw a parallel between the chimp attack from earlier this week and the economic stimulus bill.
Reverend Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network, had this to say:
The cartoon in today’s New York Post is troubling at best, given the racist attacks throughout history that have made African-Americans synonymous with monkeys. One has to question whether the cartoonist is making a less than casual inference to this form of racism when, in the cartoon, the police say after shooting a chimpanzee, “now they will have to find someone else to write the stimulus bill.”
Being that the stimulus bill has been the first legislative victory of President Barack Obama (the first African American president) and has become synonymous with him it is not a reach to wonder whether the Post cartoonist was inferring that a monkey wrote it? Given that the New York Post cartoonist has come under heavy fire in the past for racially tinged cartoons including the infamous cartoons depicting 2001 mayoral candidate Freddy Ferrer and me in very unflattering ways (that ultimately was used as a campaign tactic to inflame racial prejudices), one cannot ignore that history when looking at this morning’s cartoon.
The Post should at least clarify what point they were trying to make in this cartoon, and reprimand their cartoonist for making inferences that are offensive and divisive at a time the nation struggles to come together to stabilize the economy if, in fact, this was yet another racially charged cartoon.
In general, a comparison between our African-American president and an assassinated primate? Probably not a good idea.
February 18, 2009 at 7:51 am by Wendie
“I wish her nothing but the best and I hope she’s happy — whatever size that comes in.”
Nick Lachey weighs in — ha ha no pun intended — on the media frenzy surrounding his ex-wife Jessica Simpson’s weight gain.
Just to highlight exactly how big a deal this has become, our very own President made a comment on it during his Matt Lauer interview for the Super Bowl pre-game broadcast. The clip is below. Watch it now — it’ll be pulled soon.
February 2, 2009 at 11:57 am by Evil Beet
The President and First Lady are at Oprah status right now. You do not want to piss them off.
Ty Inc., in the age-honored tradition of increasing sales via controversy, has introduced two homely little dolls named Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia. They have dark coloring and share the names of the first daughters, but according to Ty’s PR flack, they aren’t modeled after the Obama girls. Sigh.
Needless to say, the First Family is not amused. Press secretary Katie McCormick Lelyveld released a statement: “We feel it is inappropriate to use young, private citizens for marketing purposes.”
Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia join the family of TyGirlz that includes Lucky Lindsay, Happy Hillary, Precious Paris and Bubbly Britney. And no, that is not an attempt at humor. These abominations actually exist.