Republican apologizes; said gorilla, first lady related

On his Facebook page, a South Carolina GOP activist had called a gorilla an ancestor of Michelle Obama's


Alex Koppelman
June 15, 2009 6:10PM (UTC)

One of the perils of the Internet age, for people who weren't using things like Facebook during their formative years, is the tendency to forget that almost nothing you say on the Web is truly private. Anything can come out, if the right people are watching.

For example, as South Carolina Republican activist Rusty DePass found out over the weekend, if you comment on Facebook about a report on a gorilla that's escaped from a zoo and write, "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors -- probably harmless," someone will find out.

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DePass, who has chaired one county GOP organization in South Carolina and was co-chair of Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign for his county, has now made an apology, of sorts. ""I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest," he told one local television station. He added, "The comment was hers, not mine," meaning that the first lady had previously said something about animals like gorillas being ancestors of humans, evolutionarily speaking. The New York Daily News reports, however, that it can't find evidence of Obama saying anything like that.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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