WSJ Editorial "Bowling Pins and Needles" Saturday, March 21, 2009:
"President Obama is getting lashed by the political correctness police for a comment on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno Thursday that his bowling skills were "like the Special Olympics or something." Mr. Obama's attempt to make light of his poor score may have been in poor taste, but the real gutter ball goes to anyone trying to score political points off the remark.
"Even before the show aired, the White House apologized for the gaffe and Mr. Obama called Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver from Air Force One. Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton hurried to assure the world that President Obama believes the Special Olympics are a wonderful program that gives people with disabilities an 'opportunity to shine.'
"Of course he does. Even if the joke was unbecoming, Mr. Obama was clearly trying to make fun of himself, not special needs children or adults. The best response came from Special Olympics bowling champion Kolan McConiughey, who has bowled five perfect games in the past four years and challenged the President to a match. 'He bowled a 129. I bowl a 300. I could beat that score easily'. Mr. McConiughey said.
"The Special Olympics took the opportunity to admonish that 'words hurt and words do matter.' Yet it's impossible to believe that Mr. Obama doesn't understand that these Olympians are great -- and the best way to show that would have been to treat them as tough enough to get past a wisecrack."
Chicago Saturday, March 21, 2009 2:28 PM
Editors, Wall Street Journal
What possible good do you see in wasting 243 words of the most valuable opinion space in Journalism on defending Obama from “getting lashed“ for another outrageous tongue slip that tells much more about him than the people he insulted. Sure he apologized to everyone in sight, and I'm sure Special Olympians are no more immune to Obama worship than any other segment of the population. You say “Mr. Obama was clearly trying to make fun of himself….” That’s for sure, by clearly comparing himself to special Olympians.
Did you have similar WSJ editorials chastising the ‘political correctness police’ for their lashing of misspelling ‘potato’ and mispronouncing ‘nuclear,’ neither remotely demeaning anyone other than the speaker?
Arnold H Nelson 5056 North Marine Drive Chicago 60640