The good news is, Tai Shan, the National Panda Baby, will be protected by virtually all the women on the East Coast, plus his cute but surprisingly fierce mama. Mama bears generally don't have a real good sense of humor regarding their children, even if they're supposedly related to raccoons.
The bad news is, some people really are assholes. I sincerely mean it--they are just assholes. It's one thing to criticize the amount of coverage the Washington Post devotes to Tai Shan.
These jokes from reporters are quite another.
Not laughing. Not only is he part of an endangered species, but he's an island of goodness and cuteness in the middle of a town that is often quite depressing. That's not his fault. You can throw a rock and hit a professional bloviator in DC, not that I'm suggesting anything. (See? HUMOR! Ha, ha, lighten up!) But the opportunity to watch a panda grow...well, that's something else altogether.
I sent this letter to Courtland Milloy, who wrote the worst "joke", I thought:
In light of your recent jokes regarding the Washington Post's coverage of Tai Shan, I ask only that you consider this:
The only reason I have ever read your column, at all, is its location directly to the left of the weekly baby panda pictures. After all, there is a lot of bloviation and a lot of opinion in Washington DC, but precious little sweetness.
So now y'all see what stirs my passions up. :-)
(Edited the day after initial post to include letter.)