Criticizing The President Draws National Ire

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

State Archivist Guy Rocha might think twice before correcting the president again.

Since setting President Bush straight on the proper pronunciation of Nevada last month, Rocha has been the target of a nationwide uproar.

Bush, in Las Vegas on Nov. 25, repeatedly said Ne-vah-da. In response to a question from a Las Vegas newspaper reporter, Rocha noted the correct pronunciation is Ne-va-da.

"He's the president, and he ought to get it right. Nothing personal," Rocha said then.

Rocha then started getting angry e-mails after the story went national. He counted 35 to start with, plus hundreds of comments on Internet bulletin boards.

"You, not President Bush, are the one mispronouncing Nevada. Try another smear tactic. This one isn't working," one of the more polite messages read.

"They used expletives deleted ... It's vicious. I hope I never go through it again," Rocha said.

Eric Herzik, a Republican and long-time political science professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, said he's not surprised by the reaction.

"This is something political scientists have really noticed, the lack of civility," Herzik said. "It has to do with the polarization of politics. There is very little middle ground any more."


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