White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had a silly response to the "really silly reporting" he identified in the White House pool report that noted that Red Sox fans booed President Obama at a fundraiser Monday night. Obama goaded the Massachusetts crowd after the Red Sox traded fan favorite Kevin Youkilis to Obama's favored Chicago White Sox, and Carney suggested (perhaps he was being tongue-in-cheek) that the crowd response was actually the sounds of rabid Red Sox fans shouting "Yooooouk," short for "Youkilis." Carney, a self-professed Red Sox fan, said:
And anyone who knows Boston, knows the Red Sox and anyone who was in that room last night knows that the preponderance of people shouting in response to what the President said about Kevin Youkilis were saying ‘Yoooook and not Booo’ for God's sake
This writer knows the Red Sox well, and Carney is right that traditionally, when Youkilis comes to bat, fans scream "Yoooouk" in a manner that sounds to the untrained ear quite a bit like "boooo." But our in-depth analysis suggests that notwithstanding this, the President was in fact booed by the rabid crowd of Sox fans. Compare the President's remarks:
with your typical Youkilis at-bat:
Notice that the strong, sustained "Yooooouk" sounds different from the rabble-rousing, growling "booos" of the audience (which also seem to include "awww" as in "aw, come on.") Add to this the fact that Obama followed the moment by saying, "I didn't think I'd get any boos out of here," -- and that most Red Sox fans aren't really accustomed to spontaneously shouting "Yoooouk" at every mention of his name, especially on a day when he was traded, and the evidence looks pretty thin. In fact, Carney follows up his statement on Twitter to say that untrained White House ears aside, the crowd "said both." He's caving in the face of evidence!
Still, we imagine Obama raised quite a bit of money from an otherwise supportive state Monday. And we have to commend Carney for somehow spinning his boss's boos into a net positive for the President. The rest of his statement reads:
It is highly commendable in my view as a Red Sox Fan that the president has always refused to pander on sports
Very funny. But don't try that pandering line on Jon Stewart today.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.