By Adam Wright
His visit on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno racked up big ratings, scoring Leno’s best numbers since 2005.
During the 35 minute interview, the President discussed the number one issue in the world today: the economy.
However, the interview was overshadowed by a controversial comment made by the President, which caused a firestorm of discussion immediately after.
After talking about the economy for most of the interview, Jay Leno opted to talk about some more laid back stuff and ease the mood.
Leno asked the President about the Presidential jet, Air Force One. Obama talked about how he thought it was cool, but he joked about how his daughters weren’t too impressed at their young age.
Leno then asked if there was still a bowling alley in the White House. Obama said indeed there was, and he’s been practicing whenever he has a chance.
This is where the President puts his foot in his mouth.
While trying to joke about his lack of bowling skills, Obama called his score of 129 “like Special Olympics or something.”
Before the show even went on the air, the White House was already on damage control, making the following statement.
“The president made an off-hand remark making fun of his own bowling that was in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics,” White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton told ABC News. “He thinks the Special Olympics is a wonderful program that gives an opportunity for people with disabilities from around the world.”
As a fan of President Obama, I’ll be the first to admit that he shouldn’t have made that joke, even if the intention wasn’t meant to be offensive. He obviously he spoke before thinking.
This brings up a few questions. Is it because it was just a slip of the tongue, which later he apologized for? But what if it was the former President George W. Bush who made the exact same comment, would the reaction in the media be the same?
I seriously doubt it.
Let me make this clear, I’m nowhere near “right” leaning, but shouldn’t the media be as critical on the current President as it was on the former?
If anything, this shows that the President it in fact human. He made a mistake. He had a slip of the tongue in front of a worldwide audience.
But with a blunder like this, it’s no wonder sitting Presidents don’t appear on Late Night television shows.
Good on President Obama for trying to talk to a wider audience in Leno’s show, but next time, he should avoid the gutter-ball