- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 24, 2014

President Obama’s trip to comfort the families in Oso, Wash., who were impacted by a tragic mudslide that killed 41, may have been overshadowed by the fact that he mispronounced the city’s name at least twice.

Many KIRO-FM Radio listeners voiced their outrage after the president repeatedly mispronounced their city as “Osso.”

“Because while very few Americans have ever heard of Osso [sic] before the disaster struck, we’ve all been inspired by the incredible way that the community has come together,” Mr. Obama said, repeating the flap at least one more time.

“I was mortified by the president’s speech, not for his presence but lack of preparation,” one listener said. “It was distracting to the point I didn’t hear the rest of his comments. My mom texted me from eastern Washington, her comment was ‘Oso…because it’s o so hard to pronounce’.”

“I’d hate to be on the presidential PR team,” said another.

Other residents said the flap was “minor” and that Oso should be grateful that the president showed up.

“I think we should be grateful that the president took time out of his schedule to come to Washington and speak to the people of Oso,” one listener said. “I think we should get over his mid pronunciation of the town. Yes he should have known how to pronounce it but I don’t feel it should dismiss his visit or speech. We need to see the positive in things instead of always looking for a negative of a good gesture.”

“Let it go and stop perpetuating resentment about the way he pronounced it,” said another. “He didn’t do it out of disrespect. He came, he said the correct things re the communities. Healing starts with understanding, patience and compassion. Forgive him.”

The president took an aerial tour Tuesday of the Stillaguamish River valley where at least 41 people perished in a mudslide on March 22.

“There are those who’ve lost everything and face a difficult road ahead,” he told the people of Oso. “And that’s why I came. We’re not going anywhere. We will be here as long as it takes.”

“This is family,” he said. “These are folks who love this land and it is easy to see why.”

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