Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday, March 21

On March 21rst, the LA Times ran a story about the great disappointment many athletes, and others still feel regarding Obama's Special Olympics joke on the Jay Leno show even after his apology. Caitlin Cox, a Special Olympics athlete, who suffers from down syndrome is referred to in the news story by playing up on her emotions towards her bronze medals as well as Obama before the comment made on Jay Leno and after. Prior, she was proud of her medal and got excited every time she heard Obama's name. However, when made aware of the comment by her mother, the 21-year-old, dropped her head and said that the news made her sad. Although everyone disappoints at one point or another, many were and are still crushed by the president's insensitivity that Wednesday night, because of how destructive a comment like that could be. While many feel that Obama's intentions were good, the issue demonstrated the need to further educate society on the issues that confront those with a developmental disability. While the LA Times focused on how Obama's comment continues to hurt and affect many, the New York Times took on another approach regarding the matter. Instead of focusing on the negative side of this matter, they enlightened the incident as simply a damaging slip and focused on the details on how quickly Obama realized the mistake he made, and how moving his apology was, his sincerity, and also how wonderful he thinks the Special Olympics Program is.

The Washington Post also covered this story calling it Obama's Gutter Ball Threatens to Haunt Him. They, similiar to the New York Times, took the subject more as a political sin than a personal affront to Americans and also mentioned how politically correct he adressed many other issues the same week such as mortgage securities, and public-school reform. "President Obama offended many disabled Americans, their champions, and others who puzzled over how a man who rarely misspeaks could make such a joke". The Washington Post also informed the public that during a town hall forum in Los Angeles earlier that Wednesday, a disabled man told Obama "about the true renaissance that's happening" among people with physical disabilities, asking the president how "your disability agenda will release this emerging potential that's currently wasted and untapped?""Well, you are exactly right that we need everybody," Obama responded. "And every program that we have has to be thinking on the front end, how do we make sure that it is inclusive and building into it our ability to draw on the capacities of persons with disabilities." A simple mistake in his choice of words or diction which wasn't meant to humiliate the population in any way now leaves Obama hesitant to safely discuss bowling.

Lastly, the President now faces a challenge, a Special Olympics athlete, Kolan McConiughey, who has bowled three perfect games wants to take on the president.

Also in the LA Times, a report from Washington discussed how effective will Obama's plan to let the public know exactly where the stimulus aid is going. Watchdogs complain that many of the important decisions regarding the stimulus aid aren't being made in Washington, and are instead left up to the states which may be impossible to follow under White House guidelines. Nevertheless, Obama continues his transparency theme while many doubt that the taxpayers will get the dollar-by-dollar information he promises.

Following his promise of transparency, the New York Times published an article discussing Obama's outlined plan to help prevent waste in economic stimulus package. Obama issued a directive requiring that lobbyists put in writing their requests about the projects they believe should be awarded from the $787 billion economic stimulus package. “No plan is perfect,” Mr. Obama said. “And I can’t stand here and promise you that not one single dollar will slip through the cracks, but what I can promise you is that we will do everything in our power to prevent that from happening.”

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