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Presidential 'chicken legs' joke leads bookstore's customers to complain
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Date published: 7/24/2003
Apparently, it's become un-American--or at least highly controversial--for a woman to publicly say that the president of the United States' body is less than perfect.
A Baltimore acoustic artist has been banned from playing the Fredericksburg Borders Books & Music store--apparently because she made fun of President Bush's legs between songs in her show Friday night at Central Park.
Julia Rose, a singer-songwriter and a fitness advocate who often shows audiences her six-pack abs, told a Fredericksburg Borders audience Friday: "George Bush has chicken legs. He needs to pump some iron."
"I never bashed Bush as president. I merely said his lower body needs some serious definition," Rose explained later.
She said most of the audience laughed. But a few were offended and reportedly contacted Amy Korsun, area marketing manager for Borders Books & Music, to complain about Rose making "political" comments.
Korsun confirmed Wednesday that Rose has been banned from performing at the Fredericksburg store after Friday's show. She said a number of Rose shows planned for the Fredericksburg Borders have been canceled, but that Rose would be allowed to continue playing other Borders stores in Virginia.
Korsun--who oversees stores in Arlington, Springfield, Sterling, Fairfax, Woodbridge, Manassas, Fredericksburg and Richmond--declined to explain why Rose has been banned from the Central Park store.
Rose said yesterday that she continues to be befuddled and shaken by what happened.
"I made no other comments about the president," she said. "I actually have said this before at other Borders stores, and have never had a problem.
"I never said anything about Bush being a bad president or anything. I was just poking fun at his scrawny frame."
Rose said she told Korsun this and she subsequently forwarded Korsun's e-mail reply to a reporter.
"Every store has a different clientele and that needs to be taken into account," Korsun wrote to Rose.
It's debatable whether President Bush has thin legs, but it seems certain that Borders sees Fredericksburg as having very thin skin.