From Business Week (January 30):
So much for bipartisanship…10 days into the President’s term and it’s over. Only the tiniest signs of inter-party mixing and mingling exist.
We’re not talking the stimulus bill here. We’re talking serious stuff: the President’s Super Bowl party.
After two days of questioning, the press office just released a list of the elected officials who will be watching the big game with Obama in the White House. The final score? Donkeys: 11. Elephants: 3. Seven of the guests hail from either Arizona or Pennsylvania, though apparently neither presidential rival John McCain or John Kyl, Arizona’s two Republican Senators, will be there. Pennsylvania will be better represented: both Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Arlen Specter will be in the house.
Original DVD cover.
Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers! I’m not the biggest football fan, but I did watch most of the game. The Arizona Cardinals played really well, but there can only be one winner, and Arizona can’t seem to send one when it counts most (I’m looking at you, Captain Underpants!). In my humble opinion, I think that it was rather petty of Captain U and Kyl not to go to the White House when they were invited.
And the other big sports news, from The Washington Post:
Michael Phelps screwed up. Of that, there is no doubt. He went to a party in Columbia, S.C. in November and got caught on camera taking a hit on a marijuana bong. Someone sold the photo to a London tabloid and it ran in the newspaper this past Sunday.
It would be nice to report that the people who represent Phelps rode to the rescue and minimized the damage. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. According to the story in the London tabloid that bought the photo, an employee of Octagon — the firm that represents Phelps — attempted to bribe the newspaper into not running the photo.
The paper, The News of the World, reported that Octagon’s Clifford Boxham offered the paper Phelps’s services as a columnist for the next three years and as a host at events on behalf of the newspaper and also offered to get some of Phelps’s sponsors to buy advertising in the newspaper.
Phelps smoking dope and getting caught may be dumb, but trying to cover it up is beyond stupid. His crime isn’t just a misdemeanor legally, it’s a misdemeanor in the court of public opinion. In fact, it isn’t as bad as Phelps’s other post-Olympic mistake, when he pleaded guilty to driving while impaired in 2004, not long after the Athens Olympics.
On Sunday, Phelps issued an apology — which was a good thing — but even it smacked of corporate overplay.
“I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment,” Phelps said in an Octagon-released statement. “I’m 23 years old and despite the successes I have had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner that people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public — it will not happen again.”
Read that again and decide if one word of it came out of Phelps’s mouth. Sure, statements always have a certain formality to them — not to mention they usually seem like cop-outs for people who don’t want to answer questions — but Phelps doesn’t even come close to talking like that.
How about he just never says anything again? Yes, I loved the excitement of the Olympics, but as soon as I heard Phelps speak, the magic was gone. He’s possibly the most boring person on the planet, and I really don’t care how much he eats, sleeps, or poops. He’s got enough money to live very comfortably for the rest of his life, so please allow the rest of us the joy of never seeing him again unless he’s in the water. Of course, advertisers won’t listen to me, so there will be those running after him with endorsement deals. I think he’s screwed up getting those from certain companies that want to present themselves as wholesome, but fear not, Michael, you moron, you’re perfect as a spokesperson for at least one product….