Monday, March 23, 2009

Americans Are Too F***ing Sensitive

or "Why I Will Never Be a Prolific Blogger Again"

As the media tell it, President Obama's only words in his recent late-night talk show appearance were an insult to Special Olympics bowlers. He probably said more, but apparently it wasn't important. Was the comment ill-advised? Of course, it was. Was it offensive? I would argue that it was not because Obama clearly did not intend it to be. Unfortunately, it's virtually impossible these days to speak off-the-cuff for more than a few minutes without someone somewhere taking offense. As a blogger, I've been targeted several times by people who choose to be deeply offended by my words, even when -- no, particularly when -- no offense is intended. Frankly, that is a major reason I've posted less frequently in recent years. It's not that I'm afraid to speak my mind; I just don't need the irritation of defending myself from the perpetually offended American public anymore.

The Chicago Tribune had a ludicrous article on Saturday headlined "Obama's 'Tonight Show' gaffe one of many for president: Special Olympics slip isn't the first time he has stumbled." The story goes all the way back to the Democratic primary campaign to point out every single time Obama said anything vaguely offensive. Give me a freaking break. Imagine how many words the man has spoken in public in the past nine months. Who could do that without upsetting someone in modern America? It's ridiculous to hold anyone to such a standard. Besides, George W. Bush made as many "gaffes" almost every week for the past nine years, speaking a previously unknown dialect of the English language, and most of the media (David Letterman excepted) let him slide.

Someone commented on the Tribune story (insert rant about the general inanity of Tribune commenters here) that the media aren't being nearly as critical of Obama as they would have been if Bush had made the same comment about the Special Olympics. Well, that's because Bush would have flashed his malicious, condescending smirk, as if to say, "Take that, you little retards!"

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