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A bit generous there Chris. The journalist's comment was quite blatant and Osborne being a politician should have had the sense to see it for what it was. He could have just as easily suggested that he wasn't going to make jokes about autism or ignored the comment completely, but instead used it to make a cheap jibe at Brown. Both are to blame but the difference is you would expect it from the journalist, not the politician.
I think the difference is that the journalist made a joke but at no one. Osborne used it to make a joke about Gordon Brown. So Osborne is more in the wrong even without the fact he is in a position of responbility. That said I think it is a overaction.
Although if it was a Labour Minster saying it the reaction would be worse
"Nobody in the room took it as more than a joke, albeit a slightly tasteless one. I thought no more about it. I knew that the columnist Robert Harris had already suggested in print that Mr Brown was a tad autistic, and it is an epithet that plenty of politicians and journalists have used lightly about the Chancellor. He does, after all, have an obsessive personality and rather low emotional intelligence. That is why the audience laughed: Mr Osborne’s joke resonated with them."
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