Friday, March 20, 2009

TGIF!!!

This week FLEW by for me! I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

Now...as I'm sure you've all probably heard by now, President Obama was on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night. He was his usual charismatic, witty, charming self. He was at ease, yet answered the serious questions with earnest. He was comfortable and light, yet intelligent and forthcoming about the serious issues we face. Everything was going easy breezy...until...



I had gotten wind of his gaffe well before the Tonight Show aired at 11:35pm EST. The 11pm News on NBC teased it. This is what Keith Olbermann said on his program before the broadcast.



I already knew what President Obama was going to say, so my intent last night was to watch to see how it was said and what the audience's reaction was going to be. When it aired, I thought, "hmmm, not as bad as I thought it was going to be." The audience was laughing already, so most of them probably missed what he said. But the media being what it is picked up on it, zeroed in on it and ran with it. "Uh oh," is all I thought. Facebook was alive with status updates saying, "he's going to pay for that one." And everyone was right.

While the fallout isn't nearly as bad as I thought it'd be, he's going to hear about it for a while. I'm sure they had his apology half way written before he got up from Jay's comfy little chair. You could almost see on his face that he realized what he said right after he said it. I'm watching The View as I type to see what they have to say about it. So far, nothing.

Well, while I agree that you shouldn't use The Special Olympics as a punchline, I think we need to give him a break. He made a bad joke that perhaps didn't go over well, and I while I can see why some would take offense, it was hardly said with any malicious intent. While I think the President possesses a natural wit, maybe he just tried too hard to be funny in this instance.

Everyone knows how much I love Barack Obama. My crush on him continues. But if I had to think of one thing that I'd wish he'd do as President, it would be to have a more intimidating presence during some of these interviews. I'm not necessarily saying that's the demeanor he should have when he's on a show like Leno, but when he was being interviewed by Matt Lauer on The Today Show, I couldn't help but feel that Matt Lauer was a bit too lax for someone who is talking to the President of the United States. Matt Lauer is usually kinda smug anyway, and I understand he may be a little bit older than President Obama; but it wouldn't kill him to talk to him like he's the leader of the free world, not like he's just some "dude." I love that Barack Obama is "the people's President," but instead of trying to get everyone to like him, I would love to see him...just ONCE...say "Look, I'm the President, this is what I want, this is how it's going to be, and that's that. No back talk!"

I know he'd never do that though. The reason why is because our President is just too intelligent. He expects that if he speaks to people with reason and logic, that they'll understand and respond favorably. He feels that he shouldn't have to yell or get mad in order to be heard, because that would just be barbaric instead of smart. Too bad the people he has to deal with hate him so much, and want him to fail so badly, that reason and logic escape them. They'd rather focus on how he's going on Leno instead of dealing with the economic crisis, not realizing that he can multi-task and that the crisis can't and won't be solved within the hour he spent on television. It's absurd, but it's the government we have and the people we put there.

Hopefully we'll let the President get back to the job at hand instead of making him appear at every future Special Olympics event to prove he's not a meanie. We all know that he is a good guy who just wants to help us do better. It's not the first mistake he'll make, nor will it be the last. We just have to get out of his way, allow him to be human, and give the man time to be the great President he will be.

Have a great weekend!

-b

21 comments:

Latinegro said...

first....tase this!

Serena W. said...

First!

Serena W. said...

Damn it Ant its a tie!

Latinegro said...

that is some shit...

phillygrl said...

brooke, I agree..it was usual banter, etc..although as president you have to watch what you say...i feel (whether it was him or anyone else) as though it was not malicious, i actually could barely here it as Jay talked over him, etc... YOu KNOW SCRUTINY to every detail on this guy is of the FOREMOST priority of all his detractors...so really, it's to be expected...

Latinegro said...

Brooke and I spoke about this last night and while I do think he should not have said what he did, we live in a country where people are way too sensitive about what other people say.

Annamaria said...

GOOD I'll tase both of you together!!!!!!!!!! LOL

I was proud of myself when Jay Leno came on & I was still awake.... And then I screamed at 6am when I realized I had fallen asleep before my president came on... LOL
I googled it to see what all the fuss was about. I have a nephew that has down's (who coincidently turns 15 today!!!) He has been in the special Olympics for the past few years. I DID NOT IN ANY WAY TAKE OFFENSE TO ANYTHING THE PRESIDENT SAID. I however feel more pity for Barack than my nephew.. WHY because my nephew can walk around, I'm about to go spend time with him & take him to lunch, etc etc... Barack once said in an interview that he is even afraid to scratch his nose for fear of being criticized.. AND he is absolutely right. NO MATTER what he says or does someone is ALWAYS going to have a problem with it. He is a GREAT guy and I think everyone should just back off before I tase them.

Brooke said...

I think people have to look at who is saying what. If the girl who sits next to me would have said that, I would have had a different reaction - because I know she has zero tolerance FOR ANYTHING or ANYONE. She has a malicious spirit, so I would have known that comment was coming from a malicious place. But Barack Obama? Malicious or mean-spirited? Hardly. Some could say it was insensitive, and I'm not saying no one should get upset....but I think people who are criticizing him don't believe for a second that he has a malicious bone in his body.

Sarah said...

Brooke I have a big crush on the big O too.

I worked with people with disabilities for years and I have to say we all need to lighten up a bit and stop being so hyper sensitive and stop being so gosh darn politically correct all the time.

Personally I love a good Jew or Italian joke once in a while, cause we all need to lighten up!

Brooke said...

Hey Sarah! I guess we can always look at it on a case by case basis. But nothing anyone says really surprises me anymore. Sometimes people say things for shock value, or to sensationalize an issue. But last night was SO not the case with Obama. We all sometimes give a nervous laugh to an inappropriate joke from time to time...not good, bad or indifferent. I guess intent and meaning are what we have to look at.

Pretty Ricky What Dey Call'em said...

Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone. No one is an angel. President Obama's crime is that he said it on National TV. If me and Barack were sittin in my living room and he said that joke... I'd have giggled and given him a beer. ANd yes, I have told black jokes, white jokes, gay jokes, special olympic jokes, jewish jokes, italian jokes, irish jokes, asian jokes, mexican jokes, puerto rican jokes...did I miss anybody!

Luckily, I'm not the President. Unfortunately he's gonna have to take his lumps on this one and learn from it. Nuf said on that.

As for the Pres being to laid back and people not giving him the respect he deserves... I absolutely agree. but I have to say, I love his demeanor and the fact that people can relax around him. It's not traditional, but I think it works for him!

Rameer said...

I KNEW ou would make this a blog topic...lol!

BTW - Syracuse is kicking much arse right about now...

He should've known better. It's not about intent or the source, it's about the words being relased out of his mouth. There is a rogues gallery of people looking to make a story out of anything, and an even longer list of people who hate him and/or want him to fail. He has to be more aware of giving them any ammo - they go after him WITHOUT the ammo...

Sorry, but though I agree with the whole "look at who is saying what" concept and at looking at context, that works with my personal relationships with people. I don't expect ANYONE to do that in terms of the average person. That mindset is an idealistic one, and, as many of you know or have come to know, I tend to deal with the reality of the situation. And the reality is, as the most powerful leader in the world, and a Black man, he's gonna get raked over the coals.

George W. Bush said way worse on numerous occassions...but he also wasn't a popular president threatening the status quo. I love Barack, but can't give him the excuses...he DEF should've known better.

I just hope this doesn't mushroom into something bigger and desn't linger in the public eye too long.

Brooke said...

He'll definitely learn from this. He's smart, and like I said...after the words left his mouth, I watched his face. He gave pause, and in that second, I thought to myself, "he just realized what he said." So you're right, he doesn't get an excuse from me...not at all. He is an intelligent man who usually chooses his words very wisely. Last night was not the case, but it's just a long line of things that they'll criticize him for that have absolutely nothing to do with who he is as our President.

He'll just have to take the lumps like B said. They will always go after him, no matter if he says everything perfectly out of his mouth going forward, they will always find something to criticize him for.

Brooke said...

And yes, SU is kickin ass...but they turned it to the N. Dak v. Kansas game! arrggghhh!!!

Latinegro said...

Well the man is human and people forget shit like that. We put our leaders and celebs on this this pedestal and expect them not to make mistakes.

Brooke said...

I agree with that. When he was running on the platform of change, what people really thought that meant was "Smarter" or "Competent" or "Better than our current President." People hold Barack Obama to a higher standard because he IS smart. They forget he's human because he seems larger than life. Like he said during the roast, "I wasn't born in a manger." But we deify him...while his detractors try to villify him.

He tries so hard to fight this "elitist" image, the perception that he's smarter than everyone else around him. But you know what? I'd like him to OWN that. He IS smarter than most around him. He IS elite - in the sense that he has a brain and isn't afraid to use it. I WANT my President to be smarter than me, and not afraid to say it. It's not arrogance, it's competence. The fact that he's a smart Black man annoys and in some cases, infuriates, most around him - and so what!? Be mad! I want him to say that...just ONE TIME! and then I'd be happy :-) LOL!

Serena W. said...

I love his demeanor and yes I hate to say it but he will have to swallow this one. But I didn't get offended at all watching the clip. Having grown up with two of my sisters who were/are medically and mentally challenged didn't throw me off. But there are people who are extra sensitive and probably ready to protest.

Really...what I want to see is the needs of our beautiful special people addressed. More money into programs, nurses, education, etc. The way they slashed their programs makes my stomach turn.

So that little punchline doesn't bother me because there is so much more that needs to be addressed.

He's human and that's why I love him. And yeah people are relaxed around him but look back at the Clinton days...the man went on the Arsenio Hall show and played the sax! He was a people person and chill too. It's a great relief compared to what we went through for 8 years (sigh)...

Rameer said...

Well Brooke - if it makes you feel better - when I'm around people sometimes (co-workers, interns, people you run into that you know), if someone gets upset at a disagreement or point I'm making and says "what - you think you're smarter than me?" - I tend to say "YUP".

Lol! I'm famous for answering people like that when they ask me such questions - "you think you're better than me", "you think I can't beat you/do better", etc. - I find all of my close friends and family never even ask those questions. Usually, it's people with insecurities...

So, while the president may not be apt to "owning" certain things about himself publicly...I certainly do...lol!

Some people do deify the president...I certainly don't. Which is why I think it surprises some of the people I work with when he's on TV and they're like "are you watching this?" And I'm like "nope". They act like it's blasphemous to not see, hear or read everything he does! I'm like "I like the guy, voted for him - but if it's anything of consequence, I'm sure I'll know about it at some point". He does breathe ar and take a crap just like the rest of us, right? I thought so...

Smart Black men annoy A LOT of people. I literally had that convo this morning with some co-workers in reference to me and some other Blacks who work in TV in this market...I kind of like that it bothers the ignorant. Cuz every time they see Barack, because of thier own hate, jealousies, insecurities, etc. - it'll make their blood boil. And I can always say "hey, look - THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES is on..."

LMAO!

Serena W. said...

And I must say that I love the power red tie!

Brooke said...

The tie IS nice isn't it? I love watching him smile...so infectious!

Pro said...

Remeber Obama and the Don Imus Comment:

Obama said: "He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America. The notions that as young African-American women — who I hope will be athletes — that that somehow makes them less beautiful or less important. It was a degrading comment. It’s one that I’m not interested in supporting."

Therefore, laughter and the lack of reaction from Obama’s remarks suggest Americans have a set a rules for race, class and gender: If you touch them you will pay.

And another set of rules for individuals that have a mental or physical disability: If you touch them, it’s ok if you apologize. Oh, and by the way, it’s okay to laugh at the jokes that come at the expense of the latter.

It is just cruel:

http://tinyurl.com/cgpymq

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