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Drawing flies

I'm sure some reporter somewhere had uttered the cliché in recent month: "Oh, if I could just be a fly on the wall in the White House..."

After last week, that may not be the most inconspicuous way to gather information on the President. It very well may be hazardous to your health.

Just in case you missed it - and trust me, I could see how you could have missed it - President Obama landed in hot water for smashing a fly during a televised interview.

Apparently the fly had the audacity to hope it could share the President's spotlight on CNBC.

With a quick clap of his hands, the fly was no more, and the President was turned into a gloating schoolboy: "I got the sucker," he told correspondent John Harwood.

Enter the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, one of my favorite groups in America. (Disclaimer: I am (or have been) a member of their mailing list - the result of a buddy's practical joke one year when I was getting a cheeseburger during the Lollapalooza concert in Atlanta one year.)

Now, here's the irony of PETA: they never miss an opportunity to jump on cases of "animal cruelty," stepping on the backs of the very animals they are supposedly protecting all in the name of raising their public persona - and money for their cause, of course.

But I digress. Sort of.

Back to the story: The President didn't pardon a pest and PETA got their panties in a wad.

(You know, come to think of it, fly capital punishment may be a Democratic cause. My co-worker - and ardent supporter of the Democratic party - Billy Hobbs wages regular battle against the buzzing buggers.)

Anyway, PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich slapped President Obama on the wrist - probably not with a flyswatter, saying the president was, gasp, "not perfect."

"We believe that people, where they can be compassionate, should be, for all animals," said the spokesman for all birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and animals (except those evil, heartless, worthless humans).

The group even offered to help the President become more humane by sending him the Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher, which traps flies alive so people can then release them outside where they can get eaten by a bird or smash into a windshield. Or fly in someone else's house and get smashed.

Admittedly, I'm a little shocked that the presidential swat even became newsworthy.

Color me heartless and cruel, but, newsflash folks, it was just a fly. And not even the kind of fly that got Bill Clinton in trouble.

Then again, maybe a couple of swats with a flyswatter would have been just the thing to keep Bill out of trouble. Or a couple of cold blasts with a water hose.

Web posted on Thursday, June 25, 2009

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