After footage of the President swatting a fly hit YouTube, PETA tried to turn him on to humane bug catching.

The Times is treating this story with all the gravity it deserves. It opens with the line, "The White House is bugged," and explains, "during an East Room interview with John Harwood for CNBC and The New York Times on Tuesday, a giant fly orbited Mr. Obama's head." A lot of jokes about "no-fly zones" and "buzz" follow.

But PETA's not laughing. In response to Obama's "fatally slapping" an offending fly, they sent him a Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher, which allows users to trap flies and release them outside (my desire to do dumb shit like this was curbed at the age of eight, when I asked my dad not to kill a spider and he responded, "What do you want me to do? Rehabilitate it and teach it a trade?"). Spokesman Bruce Friedrich says, "We support compassion even for the most curious, smallest and least sympathetic animals. We believe that people, where they can be compassionate, should be, for all animals." PETA calls the swatting an "execution" and recommends dealing with insects "kindly" by keeping your living space clean or, in the case of mosquitoes, taking B vitamins and rubbing yourself with vodka. This is also a good way to make people think you are an alcoholic, without the fun of drinking.

The Times offers several theories on the source of the fly infestation:

The chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who swatted at a fly in a recent interview, has blamed the opening of vents in the West Wing for the infestation, while Mr. Obama's senior adviser, David Axelrod, has blamed careless staff members who forgot to close unscreened windows, an official said.

The most disturbing piece of information in the story, however, is this:

There are numerous accounts of infestations in previous administrations, including a cameo by a fly during an Associated Press interview with Vice President Dick Cheney just a few days before Mr. Obama was sworn into office.

Clearly the initial flies were emitted by Dick Cheney himself, and are now breeding an army of tiny minions to undermine Obama. Cheney-flies, unfortunately, fear neither cleanliness nor vodka, but they may give up their secrets if waterboarded.


What Has 132 Rooms and Flies?
[New York Times]
PETA wishes Obama hadn't swatted that fly [AP]
PETA miffed at President Obama's fly 'execution' [Politico]