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When the latest flash came across the wires--CNN reporter and White House official go at it again!--we wondered if the AP should keep that slug line in type. Like newspapers used to do in the old days with paste-up headlines. Some stories are so frequent and unchangeable that it saves time to keep the headlines in the can. Such as "Mid-East Peace Deal on Hold" or "Yankees Win." For the editorial section, you've got "Whither NATO?" or something worse, if anything can be.

This week, the cameras caught Kellyanne Conway and Jim Acosta going at it in front of the White House. The flash said she called him a "smartass" in front of the cameras. Which may be one of the more pleasant names CNN's top publicity hound has been given these days. What happened to reporters who just report? Have they been relegated to newspapers? We suppose this is what was bound to happen for a generation of TV personalities raised on Dan Rather.

Embarrassing as it may be, we did click on the video. Some of us are drawn to this kinda comic routine like we are to bad movies or car wrecks. After some back and forth about coverage, Jim Acosta started with: "Ma'am? Ma'am? Ma'am?" And Ms. Kellyanne shot back, "Don't call me ma'am, to make up . . . ."

And that was that. We were on to more important stuff.

Except some in the press wanted to report that she had told the reporter "not to call her ma'am." Leaving out "to make up" part.

Obviously Kellyanne Conway knows that somebody using the word ma'am is doing so in a friendly, or at least mock-friendly, way. And that the term is one of endearment, not insult. Unlike a senator from California we remember, one Barbara Boxer, who a few years ago chewed out a general in front of her committee for using the term "ma'am" when addressing her.

"You know, do me a favor," she said at the time. "Could you say Senator instead of Ma'am? It's just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title, so I'd appreciate it, yes, thank you."

As if people don't work hard to deserve "ma'am." And they work from childhood.

Maybe more folks in Washington should be refreshed: You're in a Southern city. You can look it up. That was part of the deal between Alexander Hamilton and James Madison/Thomas Jefferson. You're allowed to talk like it.

Ma'am sure beats other titles, like senator and president. Or even CNN chief White House correspondent.

Editorial on 01/12/2019

Print Headline: Ma'am? Ma'am? Ma'am?


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Archived Comments

  • WhododueDiligence
    January 12, 2019 at 3:59 p.m.

    Skeptic, what are you talking about? Do you think Mac is a real general? He was in the Navy. As you might or might not be aware, the expression Mac used has a ... um ... less than honorable connotation. I think he was joking. At least I hope he was, and the word "discharge" has more than one meaning.

  • Seitan
    January 12, 2019 at 5:51 p.m.

    Skeptic. Why so passive-aggressively threatening?

  • Skeptic1
    January 12, 2019 at 6:12 p.m. thing I would never do, which you incredibly did, is to state that he was dishonorably discharged, and in military terms that has only one meaning. That is defamation and a horrible accusation. You would be wise to retract and apologize and it certainly says a lot about you.

  • Skeptic1
    January 12, 2019 at 6:13 p.m.

    Seitan..(Satan), I am not being passive aggressive I am being blunt and direct, what part did you not get?

  • WhododueDiligence
    January 12, 2019 at 6:50 p.m.

    "... and in military terms that has only one meaning."
    Skeptic, it's been half a century since I was in the military and GeneralMac is not a real general so he can't be discharged dishonorably or otherwise.
    But it looks like someone honorably discharged the humorist GeneralMac from here.

  • WhododueDiligence
    January 12, 2019 at 7:07 p.m.

    Skeptic, one thing I would never do which you did, is call someone "(Satan)".

  • Skeptic1
    January 12, 2019 at 7:41 p.m.

    WhododueDiligence..gee Einstein, do ya think maybe "Seitan" is wordplay for "Satan?" A far cry from saying someone was "dishonorably discharged." Nice try, doesn't work.

  • 23cal
    January 12, 2019 at 7:52 p.m.

    About "Sure beats another Democrat calling our president "Mother **cker."
    Stay with me here: Crooked Hillary. Little Rocket Man. Low Energy Jeb. Lyin' Ted. Pocahontas. Failing New York Times. Lovely Lisa Page. 17 Angry Democrats. Crazy Maxine. Little Marco. Crazy Joe. Sleepy Joe. The Dick. Moonbeam Jerry Brown. Nasty Woman. Leakin Lyin Slimeball Slippery Shady James Comey. Liddle' Bob Corker, Jeff Flaky, Puppet Jones, Lightweight Gillibrand. A thief. Sneaky Leaking Diane. Lamb the Shame. Wacky and Deranged Omarosa. Crazed Cryin Lowlife Omarosa. Cheatin' Obama. Lyin' Obama. Weak! A disaster! Terrible! Bad Guy! Sick guy! Failed. Insane. He is just so bad! Schumer Puppet. A third rate reporter. A Hillary flunky! Dumb as a rock. Wacko. Sad. Crying. Total phony. Cried like a baby. Rex didn't have the mental capacity needed. Lazy as Hell. I like MS-13 Lover Pelosi. Chuck and Nancy, Sleazy Little Adam Schitt. Look at that face, would anyone vote for that? That dog! Fat slob! Fake Tears Chuck. Head Clown Chuck. Mr. Maggo. I like people who weren't captured. Big Luther. The Indian. Low IQ Maxine Waters. Wacky Wilson. Sloppy Steve. Crazy Jim Acosta. There was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever. Dopey CNN Flunky. Dumb as a Rock Mika. Low IQ Mika. Marbles in His Mouth Tom Brockaw. Crazy Megyn. Sour Lemon. Grab 'em by the pussy. The Dumbest Man On Television. Psycho Joe. Little George. Little Katy. Fake ABC News. Clinton News Network. Very Fake News. Animals. Liberal Fake News. Amazon Washington Post. Crooked Press. Enemy of the American People. Horse Face. Punchy DeNiro. Goofball Atheist Penn. Miss Piggy. FBI Lover Boy. And I could say: ‘Listen, you motherf***ers, we’re gonna tax you 25 percent. Why do we want all these people from 'sh*thole countries' coming here? Knock the Hell out of 'em! "They're ripping the sh*t out of the......" You bet your a$s I'd approve it. Bomb the sh*t out of them. I'd like to take some money out her fat a$s pockets. Grab them by the pu**y.
    All of that came out of the mouth of the lowlife that you're clutching your pearls over him being called a name.
    Septic, you are a shameless hypocrite.
    Also, your implication that someone else calling Donnie Dimwit a foul name makes it acceptable for this general to withhold the proper honorific from a female senator is asinine.

  • Waitjustaminute
    January 12, 2019 at 7:52 p.m.

    Barbara Boxer's tirade was ridiculous. A Brigadier General was testifying before a committee. When asked questions by the male senators, he responded with "yes sir" or "no sir." When Boxer asked him a question, he responded with "yes ma'am," which triggered her into her ridiculous tirade.
    Of course she earned the title Senator. When addressing her by name, I'm sure the General would have called her "Senator," or "Senator Boxer." But when she asks a question that simply calls for a yes or no answer, what's the problem with saying "yes ma'am" to a female senator, just as you would say "yes sir" to a male senator? Being taken to task for not saying "yes Senator" was just stupid on her part.

  • WhododueDiligence
    January 12, 2019 at 8:15 p.m.

    "... do ya think maybe 'Seitan" is wordplay for 'Satan?'"
    No, Skeptic, I definitely don't think that. If you search the meaning of the word "seitan," like I did, you'll find out what it means. It's much more innocent than you imagine.