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Obama's Fly Swat Sends PETA Abuzz

By David Goguen on June 19, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

White House No-Fly Zone Enforced by Commander-in-Chief Himself

A common house fly found itself in the rare air of the White House this week, but paid the ultimate price for lingering too long in the presence of the President. And the incident unleashed PETA's hair-trigger (actually made entirely of faux-fur) outrage, as the group tried to ensure that the next fly receives a Presidential pardon.

When Obama sat down for an interview with CNBC's John Harwood on Wednesday, the normally unflappable Commander-in-Chief became distracted by a fly buzzing around his head.

The bug landed on his arm, and that's when the President paused to gather himself in dead-still concentration, then delivered a death blow in a blur of crisp white shirt cuff and blue coat sleeve.

Obama was channeling Mr. Miyagi, with Harwood playing the part of an awestruck Daniel LaRussa. The only things missing were the chopsticks, the goofy headband, and the weeks of training that are one part karate instruction and one part household chores.

Check out video of the Executive Fly Swat from Reuters.

In response, PETA sent the White House a "Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher", a device that's apparently targeted toward people whose huge, wide-open hearts match their huge, wide-open daily schedules. It lets you trap a fly indoors and then take it outside and release it, where it will be free to fly into someone else's house and be killed there.

According to a PETA blog post, the incident proves that President Obama "isn't the Buddha, he's a human being, and human beings have a long way to go before they think before they act." That statement is actually a softening of PETA's previous position, which was that human beings still have an initial long way to go before they even reach the metaphorical road on which they have a long way to go before they think before they act.

The real tragedy here is that the bug was rumored to be on its way over to the West Wing after the interview, where it planned on fulfilling its lifelong dream of being a fly on the wall of the Oval Office.

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