Anti-'Retard' Campaign Kicks Off Tuesday

The Special Olympics' ad campaign to "eliminate the use of the r-word" has supposedly been in the works for months. But the president's joke on Jay Leno added to its momentum:

“We learned there’s a massive need for education,” [Kirsten Suto Seckler, director for global marketing and awareness at the Special Olympics in Washington] added, “and a profound need to build respect.”

The group is going to put up ads equating derogatory references to mental disability — like Barack Obama's Tonight Show joke about playing basketball like a Special Olympics participant — to "offensive phrases about blacks, Jews, gays and women," according to the New York Times.

Particularly forbidden: The words "retard" and "retarded."

How quickly things change. It was less than a year ago that the Associated Press Stylebook had "mentally retarded" as the preferred term for those with mental disabilities. Luckily, most of the old styleguides don't need to be recalled, because they're lying around on the desks of reporters soon to be laid off, by their bankrupt newspapers.

(And it's safe to say those newspapers were bankrupted by idiots, although it probably shouldn't be.)