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Phelps should have known better
In defense of Michael Phelps and his "youthful and inappropriate" behavior and "bad judgment," taken on its own, this is far from the worst slip-up ever by a national hero. This space surely isn't the only one in which the first reaction to the now-infamous photo - eight-time gold medalist from the previous Olympics with a marijuana pipe stuck in his grille - was laughter. Plus, his instant contrition and pledge to do better, along with his near-universal fame, likely give him a cushion a lot of other celebrities wouldn't get.
February 2, 2009