I've read Eats, Shoots and Leaves so I know what a difference a comma or apostrophe can make, but this is almost as "ludikrus" as some people doing the fist bump (they know who they are).
June 12, 2008, 9:31 am
New York Times Opinionator blog
Was it a slur?
By Tobin Harshaw
Tags: Barack Obama, michelle obama
Salon’s Alex Koppelman, tipped off by a reader, reports that on Fox News yesterday, “during a segment discussing conservative attacks against Michelle Obama, the wife of presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama, the network described the former as ‘Obama’s baby mama.’ ” (Koppelman has the video clip of the controversial chyron on his blog.)
For Koppelman’s colleague Joan Walsh, this raises some questions:
“Where do you even start when criticizing Fox’s slur? Do you try to explain that ‘baby mama’ is slang for the unmarried mother of a man’s child, and not his wife, or even a girlfriend? Are they racist, or just clueless? Isn’t there racism even in their cluelessness, if somebody didn’t know what “baby mama” means, but used it anyway? Even at Fox, won’t somebody have to apologize? Am I wasting my time even thinking about that?”
Michelle Malkin, who was the featured guest on the Fox report in question, answers that last query in the affirmative.
I did not write the caption and I was not aware of it when it ran (the Baltimore studio doesn’t have a monitor). I don’t know if the caption writer was making a lame attempt to be hip, clueless about the original etymology of the phrase, or both. But I do know that it was Michelle Obama herself who referred to Barack as her “baby’s daddy” and has used the phrase “baby daddy” to describe Barack while on the stump this year.
Here’s how she introduced him during his Senate victory speech on Nov. 2, 2004:
MICHELLE OBAMA, WIFE OF BARACK OBAMA: My baby’s daddy Barack Obama. Yeah!
Apples and oranges? The Opinionator reports, you decide …
By the way, Michelle Obama was probably saying "My babies' daddy" - in the plural - since the Obamas have two daughters.