LEAVE IT TO a bunch of whiny suburban parents to rain on the Pittsburgh Steelers' parade.
Yesterday should have been a day to again celebrate the Super Bowl victory of the nation's greatest football franchise, and with the President, no less. Unfortunately, this great event was overshadowed, thanks to the self-absorbed antics of some witless Virginia parents.
You see, their kids' school had arranged a trip for a large group of kindergarten students to tour the White House on Thursday morning. According to the White House, their tour was supposed to begin at 9:30 a.m., and they had been given a grace period of up until 10:15 a.m. Despite this -- and "heavy traffic" was supposedly to blame -- the kids' bus did not arrive until after 10:30 a.m., and thus the mandarins in the executive mansion said the tour could not proceed. Naturally, in the eyes of the parents, the White House has become the bad guy -- as WRC-TV in Washington reports:
Parents say they tried to make it on time, but their chartered buses hit heavy traffic that slowed them down substantially. They thought they were supposed to show up by 10:15, but they say they arrived at 10:25 instead, and couldn’t get in.
"The person who headed this White House trip up came out and said, 'I’m sorry, the White House tour's off.' There were a lot of crying kids," parent Barbara Stine said.
The White House tells a slightly different story. A spokesperson said the group was actually supposed to be there at 9:30, but they held the gates for the group until 10:30, 15 minutes longer than they told the group, but when they still hadn't arrived, they had to draw the line.
Paty Stine said the White House staff should have made an exception. She feels the kindergarteners were snubbed for the Steelers.
"Here we have President Obama and his administration saying, 'Here we are for the common, middle class people,' and here he is not letting 150 5- and 6-year-olds into the White House because he’s throwing a lunch for a bunch of grown millionaires," Stine said.
Well, lady, the Pittsburgh Steelers had the good sense to show up on time.
Honestly. It's not like you can just show up at the White House any time you want. These things have to be cleared well in advance, it usually requires assistance from Capitol Hill to arrange, and there's always the chance the tours may be called off. You know, 'cause the Government may have something come up. It is a high honor and a privilege to visit the White House, and when such requests are granted, they ought be taken seriously. If that means showing up 30 minutes or an hour early, and spending the time out on Pennsylvania Avenue talking to the kids about the Old Executive Office Building, then that's what you do.
One would hope the kids would learn something from this whole debacle, but one doubts that. You see, even though the White House graciously offered to reschedule the kids' visit, the parents are naturally now in a snit, and won't likely take the rain check, WRC-TV said:
Thursday night the White House released this statement: "The President and First Lady are dedicated to opening the doors of the White House to the public, and it is unfortunate to see young people miss a tour. The visitor’s office is already working to reschedule the group."
Parents say it's probably too late. The school year ends in a few weeks and they doubt the tour can be made up in that time.
Dare I say it, but this is probably a good thing. Besides, let's face it: the parents and kids are from Stafford County, which is a bit south of Washington, D.C. As a result, the parents' animus and disgust must undoubtedly be rooted in support for the Washington Redskins. I mean, it makes sense to me -- after all, Redskins fans are generally (generally, I said) annoying, obnoxious and unpleasant. So it's understandable they would take out their frustration on the glorious Pittsburgh Steelers, who beat them soundly in Week 9 of the 2008 season.
23-6, I might add. Yeah. Go Steelers!
My suspicions about this are also raised due to WRC-TV's impolite cutline for a picture posted with the story, showing the President with a Steelers jersey at the special ceremony to honor the team. As of now, it reads: "President Obama enjoys his new Steelers jersey after making children cry."
This is not the type of comment one expects from a professional news organization, and only lends credence to the idea that Redskins fans -- deluded in their belief that the NFC East is football's toughest conference, and deluded in their belief they'll make the playoffs this year -- are behind this sinister plot to discredit the Steelers.Posted by Benjamin Kepple at May 22, 2009 05:28 PM | TrackBack