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Keller @ Large: Juvenile Back And Forth Has Become Toxic

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President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron pose for a selfie picture with Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt next to First Lady Michelle Obama during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela on December 10, 2013. (Photo credit ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron pose for a selfie picture with Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt next to First Lady Michelle Obama during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela on December 10, 2013. (Photo credit ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

420x316-grad-keller2 Jon Keller
Veteran Boston political commentator Jon Keller is heard every weekday...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Remember a few weeks ago, when the Oxford Dictionary editors named “selfie” the word of the year, because they felt the casual narcissism of the self-taken photo of oneself captured the “ethos” of this year?

Maybe they should have used the word “bathos” instead.

Because there’s something ludicrous about the gigantic selfie controversy of the mid-week.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

This will upset the way-out partisans who like to complain every time their extremism is compared with that of the other side, but if ever there were a case study in moral equivalence, it’s the competing reactions to President Obama’s participation in a selfie of himself and two other heads of state at the Mandela memorial service.

If you haven’t seen the photo that started the fire, it shows the president and his peers grinning for the camera, while First Lady Michelle Obama stares straight ahead, unsmiling. (Click on the preceding link to see for yourself.)

This was catnip for Obama critics who are not content with the fair game of criticizing his policies and leadership, but must denigrate the president personally. His behavior insulted the occasion, they said; and look at how he infuriated his own wife!

But it turns out the behavior all around at that ceremony was far more casual than the usual memorial service, and in any case the picture wasn’t initiated by the president.

And lo and behold, seconds after the infamous picture was taken, another shot shows the first lady smiling at her husband.

On the left, this foolishness was greeted with yet another egregious misuse of deadly-serious charges – that the selfie fuss reflected “sexism and racism.”

Couldn’t it just be “foolism”?

Juvenile back and forth like this would be comical if it weren’t so toxic.

Forget bathos.

This is the pathos of what’s become of our ethos.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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