It was Michelle Obama's campaign to fight childhood obesity that brought about two dozen fifth-graders to the White House Kitchen Garden Thursday, including five lucky students from Vermont. But it was WCAX's one-on-one interview with the first lady afterward that garnered more attention because of one "single" word heard 'round the world.
"Believe me, as a busy single mother -- or, I shouldn't say 'single' -- as a busy mother. You know, when you've got the husband who's president, it can feel a little single, but he's there," Mrs. Obama said told Bridget Barry Caswell Thursday.
A quick recovery from a seemingly innocent slip of the tongue. We didn't take note in our coverage and WCAX News placed the entire seven and a half minute interview on the WCAX website.
But by day's end, the first lady's flub had gone viral with mainstream media and bloggers across the country. The one mistaken word was "the" news from the interview. And experts say that's the reality of a 24-hour news cycle, and social media gone wild.
"We now live in a time in which everything that's said potentially can be-- even if it's a small story-- can be a news story that takes off and has a life of its own. And we saw that with the Michelle Obama interview," David Mindich said.
Mindich teaches media studies at St. Michael's College in Colchester. He points to the fact that everyone misspeaks now and then. We're all human after all. But when you're in the public eye: "If you're a public person you have to assume that every word you say is going to be documented and dissected. So an example from the last election was Romney's 47 percent comment. In this case, it was just a slip. She used the word single and she corrected herself even in mid-sentence."
But that didn't matter. It's all fair game to those who socialize in cyberspace. Fair or not, today's high-tech world can mean high-profile embarrassments for those in the public eye.
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