Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Stream of high-profile outbursts in the U.S. raises questions on state of the nation's manners

There's a fine line between famous and infamous -

As tennis champion Serena Williams discovered during the U.S. Open after threatening to stuff a ball down a judge's throat.

Member of Congress Joe Wilson was shunned after shouting at President Barack Obama during a speech on healthcare.

And rapper Kanye West was booed off stage at the Video Music Awards after congratulating winner Taylor Swift by announcing Beyonce deserved the award.

The combination of outbursts has led some to question the state of the nation's manners.

But the offenders themselves have admitted misbehaviour and been keen to make up for their mistakes.

TENNIS PLAYER SERENA WILLIAMS SAYING:

"I wanted to apologise first to the lineswoman, to the USTA, and my fans most of all, and to Kim Clijsters who ended up having such a wonderful tournament and winning the championship, and what an amazing feat that was."

SOUTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE JOE WILSON SAYING:

"I, last night heard from the leadership and was told that they wanted me to contact the White House and state that my statements were inappropriate. I did."

Beyonce graciously did the work for West, inviting Swift back on stage to share the spotlight.

Which may just be enough for etiquette experts to believe the traditional American pie may be humble after all.

Julia Glover, Reuters