Did President Obama call Vladimir Putin a jackass and dick at the G20 summit on Thursday? (Photo: Reuters)
Did President Obama really call Russian President Vladimir Putin a jackass at G20 Thursday? Was there a fight between Putin and Obama we don't know about? The story has spread like wildfire that President Obama had some choice words to say to Putin after their meet-up at the two-day G20 summit, in which President Obama hoped to gain the support of the 20 nations represented there for the military strikes the United States is considering launching on Syria.
The situation in Syria and how it should be handled has been top priority internationally, and while many of the countries attending the summit believed Syria's chemical weapon use was wrong, many are reluctant to support the United States in waging war on Syria for a variety of reasons. Though President Obama had mustered the support of nine of the nations present at G20, along with Spain, Russian President Putin managed to foil President Obama's plan and, well, let's just say, things got tense and everyone went home uneasy.
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In an effort to find a humorous twist to the stressed G20 summit closing,Andy Borowitz, comedian and satirical news columnist for the The New Yorker, wrote an article today that has sadly been misinterpreted, or worse yet, not even read. In the piece, the writer talks about what he thinks will occur if Putin shut down President Obama's attempts at rallying support for the Syrian military strikes. Labeling the story "G20 Ends Abruptly As Obama Calls Putin A Jackass," one thing we can say is, the title is certainly going to catch the eye and force a few clicks on the mouse button.
In reading the column, one particular section will stand out to most Americans. "Hopes for a positive G20 summit crumbled today as President Obama blurted to Russia's Vladimir Putin at a joint press appearance, 'Everyone here thinks you're a jack*ss.'"
The satirical article goes on to describe that President Obama launched into a "ten-minute tirade" at Russian President Putin, in which he also allegedly made these comments. "Look, I'm not just talking about Snowden and Syria," Mr. Obama said. "What about Pussy Riot? What about your anti-gay laws? Total jack*ss moves, my friend ... If you think I'm the only one who feels this way, you're kidding yourself."
The President then goes on to name a laundry list of individuals he claims dislike Putin also, adding as a final emphasis: "Every last one of them thinks you're a dick."
For those who know the columnist's work in the The New Yorker, it was immediately clear nothing of this nature had gone on at G20, and that President Obama had by no means made such unprofessional comments to President Putin's face. Still the effect is that thousands are posting the article to social-media networks like Facebook and Twitter, adding uncomplimentary comments toward President Obama for his alleged behavior at the G20 summit.
Though some say President Obama has made some decisions that are unorthodox, our Commander In Chief has worked hard to unite both sides of the aisle. The satire clearly sprung from a video clip released in 2009 in which President Obama was secretly recorded calling Kanye West a jack*ss over the Taylor Swift awards ceremony debacle. But in that case President Obama was recorded when things were supposed to be casual, long before he was scheduled to do an interview with CNBC.
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The most alarming thing about this article spreading is that many people have not checked their facts before posting. We've seen any number of situations get blown out of proportion, while misinformation is spread wildly due to people not taking time to fact check. The sheer number of celebrity death hoaxes we see each year on Twitter and Facebook should be proof enough. Here's just a sample of what has been posted in response to the New Yorker satire article. If you know someone who in uncertain if President Obama actually called Putin those names, make sure to share this article with them so they can help others get the facts straight, too.