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Bush Offers 'Blind' Quote -- But Reporter Says He's Not Offended
editorandpublisher ^ | June 14 06 | Editor and Publisher

Posted on 06/14/2006 1:19:13 PM PDT by churchillbuff

At his press conference this morning, President Bush, who often makes inside jokes when familiar reporters pose questions, asked Los Angeles Times reporter Peter Wallsten, who was wearing sunglasses outside, “Are you going to ask that question with shades on?” Bush noted that there was "no sun" but added, “I’m interested in the shade look, seriously.”

Turns out Wallsten is legally blind and wears the sunglasses due to a rare genetic disorder called Stargardt’s Disease.

But Wallsten later told the ThinkProgress web site that Bush’s comments did not offend him at all. “I never advertise it to him. I’ve never told him,” he explained, according to the site.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: blindbush; blindsided; legallyblind; peterwallsten; presscorps; stargardtsdisease; steviewondered; tempestmeetteapot; thinkprogress; wallsten
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1 posted on 06/14/2006 1:19:16 PM PDT by churchillbuff
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To: churchillbuff
"Legally blind" or blind?

Someone posted a pic of him earlier today and he wasn't wearing shades.

I guess he only removes them when something important is happening.

Liberal victim alert: Get ready for endless bitching about Bush attacking blind people.

2 posted on 06/14/2006 1:21:25 PM PDT by Darkwolf377
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To: churchillbuff

Good for Wallsten -- a reporter in that pack with a sense of humor and who isn't using an innocent mistake as a slam against the President. I guarantee a nice gesture from Dubya is forthcoming.


3 posted on 06/14/2006 1:21:40 PM PDT by JennysCool (Roll out the Canarble Wagon!)
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To: churchillbuff

This will be twisted around that Bush is insensitive to the handicapped community. Wait and see.


4 posted on 06/14/2006 1:21:55 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: churchillbuff

It's Bush's fault that he is blind.


5 posted on 06/14/2006 1:22:43 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: churchillbuff
Over here, they're convinced he's not blind.

So, he is. Or, he isn't.

6 posted on 06/14/2006 1:23:32 PM PDT by newgeezer (Repeal all Amendments after XV. Yes, ALL of them. Yes, I mean that one, too.)
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To: churchillbuff
But Wallsten later told the ThinkProgress web site that Bush’s comments did not offend him at all. “I never advertise it to him. I’ve never told him,” he explained, according to the site.

Presuming Wallsten is being honest -- and I have no reason to doubt him, as opposed to the Kos Krowd -- he deserves credit for taking the high road, and not feeding BDS.

7 posted on 06/14/2006 1:23:48 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee (New popular baby names for daughters of liberals: Fallujah, Haditha, Murtha)
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To: Darkwolf377

I once had a guy behind a counter ask me, "What are you, deaf or something?"

I got to turn and show him the hearing aids in both ears. Boy, did he feel stupid.


8 posted on 06/14/2006 1:23:50 PM PDT by Owl558 (Pardon my spelling)
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To: churchillbuff
George Bush doesn't care about blind people...

Oh wait, that was black people. /sarc

9 posted on 06/14/2006 1:24:18 PM PDT by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: churchillbuff
Legal blindness isn't blindness and people with Stargardt's sometimes prefer to wear sunglasses because Stargardt's sufferers take longer than others to adjust their vision from bright environments to dark environments and vice versa.
10 posted on 06/14/2006 1:24:26 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Darkwolf377
He wears UV protective sunglasses to slow the degenerative effect of Stargardt's Disease.

Whether or not that means he is "legally blind", I don't know.

11 posted on 06/14/2006 1:24:29 PM PDT by frogjerk (LIBERALISM: The perpetual insulting of common sense.)
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To: Darkwolf377

Does he have a driver's license? Should completly answer question as to "how blind" the guy actually is. I know of someone who is considered "legally blind" yet they have a driver's license with a glasses requirement.


12 posted on 06/14/2006 1:25:08 PM PDT by zerosix (Native Sunflower)
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To: JennysCool

I agree. I'm stunned he didn't immediately label himself a victim. Wait til his bosses at the LA Slimes get hold of him...he'll be on talk shows lamenting Bush's insensitivity.


13 posted on 06/14/2006 1:25:08 PM PDT by Recovering_Democrat (I am SO glad to no longer be associated with the party of "dependence on government"!)
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To: churchillbuff

My daughter is legally blind and has no restrictions.


14 posted on 06/14/2006 1:26:03 PM PDT by Raycpa
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To: Darkwolf377
Current research also shows that patients with Stargardt's disease could slow its progression by wearing UV-protective sunglasses and avoiding exposure to bright light. Researchers have observed that mice which had a mutation of the ABCA4 gene, and which were reared in dark environments had virtually no lipofuscin deposits.

From http://www.mdsupport.org/library/stargrdt.html

15 posted on 06/14/2006 1:26:17 PM PDT by frogjerk (LIBERALISM: The perpetual insulting of common sense.)
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To: churchillbuff

I just finished listening to that portion of the audio when I clicked on this page -- there was nothing the president said that could be taken as offensive.


16 posted on 06/14/2006 1:26:21 PM PDT by GretchenM (What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Please meet my friend, Jesus.)
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To: AppyPappy

his mother warned him if he kept doing that,he'd go blind.


17 posted on 06/14/2006 1:26:26 PM PDT by Rakkasan1 (Illegal immigrants are just undocumented friends you haven't met yet!)
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To: L.N. Smithee

18 posted on 06/14/2006 1:26:29 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: L.N. Smithee

I fail to see Bush's insensitivity here. I think it's intimidating to address someone with your sunglasses on.

This reporter does not usually wear his sunglasses. I bush noticed this and naturally asked the question.


19 posted on 06/14/2006 1:26:29 PM PDT by nikos1121
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To: churchillbuff

I'm going to have to see documentation on what would ordinarily be just another liberal MSM act of boorish presumption and bad breeding.


20 posted on 06/14/2006 1:26:38 PM PDT by NaughtiusMaximus (Join me! Every night I pray for Global Warming . (And I think it's beginning to work.))
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To: L.N. Smithee

I'm sure Wallsten is being honest and that he is legally blind - but actual blindness and legal blindness are two different things.


21 posted on 06/14/2006 1:27:08 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: GretchenM

You have to play it backwards. George W Bush said that all blind people should be jailed.


22 posted on 06/14/2006 1:27:40 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Darkwolf377

I am legally blind without correction. I have extreme light sensitivity, as one of the small percent of people who have that side effect from dyslexia. I would never think ill of anyone who wears sunglasses when the rest of a group isn't.


23 posted on 06/14/2006 1:28:22 PM PDT by GretchenM (What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Please meet my friend, Jesus.)
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To: frogjerk

That's interesting, but I just find it odd that he's been in other pics without sunglasses on, and frankly, if I were going to be in a press conference I would have told the WH that I would be wearing sunglasses but it's not a sign of disrespect, it's for medical reasons. That has nothing to do with the guy playing victim, it's a sign of courtesy to your host.


24 posted on 06/14/2006 1:28:44 PM PDT by Darkwolf377
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To: churchillbuff

Wallsten is not blind. He's just an obnoxious little jerk and someone is providing cover for this jerk.


25 posted on 06/14/2006 1:28:50 PM PDT by Chuck54 (Our great President & Commander in Chief, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. 'Nuff said!)
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To: DTogo

You know I thought that Kayne Wests' statement was funny until my 5 year old daughter heard it, and asked me "Why does George Bush hate black people?" I know she's only 5 but there are probably some people out there who would believe it if someone on TV says it.


26 posted on 06/14/2006 1:29:34 PM PDT by reportgirl73 (I wish I had a clever tagline....)
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To: NaughtiusMaximus
I'm going to have to see documentation"""

Well I'm sure they'll provide it for you.

27 posted on 06/14/2006 1:30:19 PM PDT by churchillbuff
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To: AppyPappy
Oh drat! I don't have the play-backwards function on that video / audio link! But I do appreciate the heads up.
28 posted on 06/14/2006 1:30:52 PM PDT by GretchenM (What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Please meet my friend, Jesus.)
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To: GretchenM
I would never think ill of anyone who wears sunglasses when the rest of a group isn't.

But that's because you have that situation. If one person in a crowd is wearing sunglasses, they stick out, and it's not going out on a limb to make the connection with someone having a star trip.

As a member of the press it wouldn't be a big deal to mention, while getting credentials, "BTW I need these for my medical condition," so the President doesn't think someone in the crowd is showing a lack of respect for the office.

29 posted on 06/14/2006 1:30:56 PM PDT by Darkwolf377
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To: churchillbuff

SHADEGATE!!!

B^)
30 posted on 06/14/2006 1:31:39 PM PDT by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: AppyPappy
I know what you're saying, but that's a pretty elaborate lie to come up with so quickly. If Wallsten is lying, it would be akin to Seinfeld's George Costanza's lie about his spastic elbow in "The Non-Fat Yogurt."
31 posted on 06/14/2006 1:32:08 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee (New popular baby names for daughters of liberals: Fallujah, Haditha, Murtha)
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To: reportgirl73
Be careful how you answer your daughter . . . you don't want her to become (as one KOSsack put it) "perpetually dehydrated and overemotional. ;)
32 posted on 06/14/2006 1:32:24 PM PDT by Xenalyte (The trouble with ignorance is that it picks up confidence as it goes along.)
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To: churchillbuff

After 3 corneal transplants and a recent cataract surgery I know exactly where this guy is at. There are times I have to wear dark glasses inside just because light, any light, hurts too much.

I get pissed at people who know about my eyes who give me grief about it, make some "snappy" comment. I do NOT take offense with someone who makes a comment when I haven't told them what's going.

I'm on board with those that applaud this guys approach and comments on this "incident" so far. I would like to have a very long talk with the clowns who are trying to drum up a problem for Bush out of this, however... preferably in a quiet alley someplace...


33 posted on 06/14/2006 1:32:30 PM PDT by Phsstpok (Often wrong, but never in doubt)
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To: GretchenM

If you don't believe me, you hate blind people.


34 posted on 06/14/2006 1:32:35 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: AppyPappy

35 posted on 06/14/2006 1:32:36 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: churchillbuff

Another reason to impeach Bush! /sarc


36 posted on 06/14/2006 1:33:09 PM PDT by Kenny Bunkport (Left's reaction to "GODLESS": "They haven't hated a book this much since the Bible." (pissant))
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To: Owl558
I once had a guy behind a counter ask me, "What are you, deaf or something?"
I got to turn and show him the hearing aids in both ears. Boy, did he feel stupid.

I've done the same thing - TWICE!!

I gave a form to a client once and when he didn't appear to be reading it I said, "What are you, blind?" He replied, "Yes, I am".
I proceeded to shrink to a 2" height.

A couple of years later we went into a restaurant in Northern Michigan while on vacation. We were seated by a young man and then waited and waited.
I finally went up to the behind -the-counter cook and complained about the long wait.
He told me that most of the staff had called in that day and they were extremely short staffed. He said they had no one to take our order.
I told them that someone had seated us and why couldn't he take our order.
The cook replied, "He isn't able to".
I said, "What is he - retarded?"
The cook replied, "Yes sir, he is". (the guy did not have Down's Syndrome and looked perfectly normal)

This time I shrank down to a 1 1/2" height.

I might be a slow learner - but twice was enough. I never make statements like that anymore!

37 posted on 06/14/2006 1:34:26 PM PDT by Tokra (I think I'll retire to Bedlam.)
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To: churchillbuff

More importantly, what does Ann Coulter have to say about this!?


38 posted on 06/14/2006 1:35:01 PM PDT by Kenny Bunkport (Left's reaction to "GODLESS": "They haven't hated a book this much since the Bible." (pissant))
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To: Darkwolf377
I hate pointing out to others what is wrong with my eyes. I used to have another eye condition that caused me endless pain and humiliation before it became less noticeable. I mean I spent YEARS being humiliated in the loudest tones at the stupidest times by insensitive ... what can I call them ... humans. I learned to make as little fuss about the variety of things wrong with my eyes as possible. When a kindly-worded inquiry was/is made, I always provide some details.

I can appreciate the reporter not wanting to make a statement about it. Bush just happens to speak directly to things that seem out of the ordinary to him. The exchange was very civil. By now, W probably knows "the rest of the story."

39 posted on 06/14/2006 1:35:15 PM PDT by GretchenM (What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Please meet my friend, Jesus.)
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To: newgeezer

Legally blind does NOT = blind. I suspect it's a liberal inspired scale for victimhood. I know several people who are legally blind......they can see some, but not enough to live a normal life. NO driving, they use walking sticks.....but with one lady I know if I stand to either her right or left side she CAN see me just fine. She manages to get out and about daily......God bless her.


40 posted on 06/14/2006 1:37:30 PM PDT by tioga
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To: Darkwolf377

What a douche.


41 posted on 06/14/2006 1:37:59 PM PDT by johnny7 (“And what's Fonzie like? Come on Yolanda... what's Fonzie like?!”)
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To: kcvl

If he's blind I guess he is writing in Braille on that pad?


42 posted on 06/14/2006 1:38:36 PM PDT by AxelPaulsenJr (Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.)
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To: Tokra

When I was in college I saw a very scruffy and badly dressed man mowing the lawn at a house where I was renting a room. I told my landlady that she didn't need to hire a bum to mow the lawn and that I'd do it for free.

She replied "That's my boyfriend."

1.23" tall.


43 posted on 06/14/2006 1:38:59 PM PDT by SeanOGuano
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To: All
For what it's worth, "legally blind" means even with the help of corrective lenses, a person's vision is 20/200 or worse.
44 posted on 06/14/2006 1:40:18 PM PDT by newgeezer (Repeal all Amendments after XV. Yes, ALL of them. Yes, I mean that one, too.)
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To: GretchenM
By now, W probably knows "the rest of the story."

Sure. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I find the amount of humiliation you suffered rather startling.

45 posted on 06/14/2006 1:41:03 PM PDT by Darkwolf377
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To: johnny7

God bless.


46 posted on 06/14/2006 1:41:17 PM PDT by Darkwolf377
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To: GretchenM

I wish the judge I had felt the same way.


47 posted on 06/14/2006 1:41:36 PM PDT by johnny7 (“And what's Fonzie like? Come on Yolanda... what's Fonzie like?!”)
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To: merry10; dmw; RoosterRe; Cinnamon Girl; MinorityRepublican; patriot_wes; SweetCaroline; ...
Turns out Wallsten is legally blind...

Deaf/Hard of Hearing ping list
with interests in health and society

48 posted on 06/14/2006 1:42:13 PM PDT by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com/)
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To: churchillbuff

What did the President Know and When did he know it?
SHADEGATE... It's all Bush's fault coming to a theater near you...

Jeez.. Louise.


49 posted on 06/14/2006 1:48:02 PM PDT by tomnbeverly (I am pissed off at the President cause he hasn't cured cancer yet.)
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To: tioga
NO driving

I have a legally-blind friend in his fifties who couldn't get a driver's license until a couple years ago. He can see "shapes." He uses an eyepiece to read roadsigns (when he needs to). If I'm standing more than 12" away from him, he has no idea who I am until I speak; then, he can ID my voice.

To put it mildly, riding in his car is a real trip. I consented to it only once.

I'm 20/180 without my glasses. He's worse than 20/200 with his. If I ever get behind the wheel of a car without my glasses on, it will have to be a life-and-death situation (both the cause and the effect).

50 posted on 06/14/2006 1:49:13 PM PDT by newgeezer (Repeal all Amendments after XV. Yes, ALL of them. Yes, I mean that one, too.)
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