Divorced dads around the country didn’t take kindly to former first lady Michelle Obama’s comparison of them to President Trump this past Sunday while on her book tour across the pond.
She made the joke in London while talking to the wildly popular Stephen Colbert. Colbert initiated the banter by saying: “America is like a teenager.”
“We are a teenager, we talked about this, we’re like a teenage country,” Obama, 55, agreed.
“And we’re confused ’cause our body is changing,” joked Colbert, 54, prompting Obama’s reply:
“We’re changing all over the place. And we come from a broken family. We’re a teenager, where we’re a little unsettled and having good parents is tough. Sometimes you spend weekends with divorced dad and that feels like it’s fun but then you get sick — that’s what America’s going through. We’re kind of living with divorced dad right now.”
Conservative white media wasted no time in attacking Obama. Sean Hannity from Fox News said the comment was “demeaning and insulting.”
To be clear, this was not a personal attack on divorced dads.
The former first lady has an impeccable reputation for being kind and fair. Although her statement was meant to be a joke and wasn’t well-thought out, it was a misstep. And not meant to be offensive to divorced dads.
Even uber-conservative journalist, Geraldo Rivera, gave Mrs. Obama a break.
During the conversation with Hannity, he mentioned: “She’s equating, she’s reduced us to a sexist stereotype with a bad parent who gives candy and lets the kids watch too much TV because we have a guilty conscience about the breakup of the marriage. I think it’s a rare misstep though Sean, in fairness.”
“No passes here on that,” Hannity said.
Of course not.
Even dad writer, Jordan Shapiro, had something to say about her comment.
“As an unapologetic divorced father of two boys, I’ve experienced this stereotype firsthand. People often assume that I live in some sort of velvet-upholstered playboy bachelor pad, where lounge music blasts from audiophile loudspeakers, and children have no boundaries. It doesn’t matter that I hold a doctorate in psychology, conduct research on early childhood development, and write about 21st century family life,” said Shapiro in a piece he wrote regarding the comparison.
It is safe to say that Michelle Obama unintentionally told a bad joke.
But considering what the former first lady has done above and beyond many first ladies, let’s hope divorced dads can forgive her and charge the faux pas to her head and not her heart.