This weekend Chicago Tribune reporter Mark Silva wrote up a pool report about Barack and Michelle Obama's quiet anniversary dinner—and quickly found it flooded, on a Sunday, with hundreds of angry comments. Many focused on the first couple's use of a motorcade, which every president has used, but several dozen overtly racist comments had to be censored. For Silva, much of the day's vitriol has to derive from "the inability of a lot of people to accept a black man as president."
The president and first lady chose a relatively modest DC restaurant for their anniversary and were back at the White House by 9:30, yet commenters brutalized them for supposed profligacy or indifference to fellow Americans. "It suggests something deeply troubling about the American mood," Silva writes. "It's time, we suggest, that a lot of people look a lot more closely at themselves before lashing out so feverishly at a middle-aged man and his wife going out to dinner for their 17th anniversary. Is it really the dinner?"