Friday, January 6, 2012

Kansas House Speaker decides to apologize for forwarding email calling Michelle Obama 'Mrs. YoMama'

Posted By on Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

ONeal says hes sorry for forwarding the offending image.
  • O'Neal says he's sorry for forwarding the offending image.
Last evening, The Lawrence Journal-World reported that Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal forwarded an e-mail disparagingly comparing First Lady Michelle Obama with the Grinch. See, it was a photo of Obama with windblown hair that sort of looked like the Grinch's hairdo. So it was meant to be funny. O'Neal was apparently tickled by the image and forwarded it — using his personal e-mail account — to some pals. Now, he's learning the elementary lesson that Wisconsin Rep. Jim "Large Posterior" Sensenbrenner learned a couple of weeks ago: It's not good form to make fun of Obama's appearances.

The J-W reports that O'Neal's forwarded message came with the subject line "Twins separated at birth?" and the body of the message (which O'Neal did not write) read, "I'm sure you'll join me in wishing Mrs. YoMama a wonderful, long Hawaii Christmas vacation — at our expense, of course." It was a less-than-creative dig at the First Family spending its Christmas in Hawaii. O'Neal reportedly wrote to his buddies, "Sorry, just had to forward this latest holiday message! I've had worse hair days but this is pretty funny."

Last night, O'Neal's spokeswoman, Alyson Rodee, defended the e-mail. "Political cartoons are a part of American culture. It's hard to see how Mike O'Neal poking fun at himself and forwarding a lighthearted political cartoon about the first lady's extravagant spending of taxpayer funds during a time when many Americans are financially struggling is newsworthy," she said. Later, however, O'Neal apologized.

To his credit, O'Neal didn't hiss out some half-assed "If anybody was offended, I'm kinda sorry because it will make this go away, I guess" mea culpas. According to The Star, the Hutchinson Republican said in a statement: "Cartoons are intended to be humorous. This one made me laugh — I’ve had bad hair days too. I forwarded it too quickly, missing the text included in the body of the email. To those I have offended, I am sorry. That was not at all my intent."

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