Jeez, between this guy and Pat Buchanan, what is up with NBC Universal? Over the weekend, Meb Keflezighi became the first American to win the New Y
November 4, 2009

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Jeez, between this guy and Pat Buchanan, what is up with NBC Universal?

Over the weekend, Meb Keflezighi became the first American to win the New York City Marathon since 1982. But CNBC's Darren Rovell isn't impressed. Darren Rovell doesn't think Keflezighi is really an American.

On his Twitter account yesterday, Rovell wrote "NYC Marathon winner Keflezghi may be a citizen, but can't count as American."


Rovell explained his bizarre views in an article on CNBC's web site:


It's a stunning headline: American Wins Men's NYC Marathon For First Time Since '82.

Unfortunately, it's not as good as it sounds.

Meb Keflezighi, who won yesterday in New York, is technically American by virtue of him becoming a citizen in 1998, but the fact that he's not American-born takes away from the magnitude of the achievement the headline implies.

"Technically American"? No: Keflezighi is American. Not on some technicality or by virtue of a loophole. He is, simply, an American -- and he isn't any less American simply because he did not share Darren Rovell's great good fortune to have been born in the U.S.

For the record, Keflezighi was born in Eritrea, but has been a naturalized citizen for 11 years, having immigrated to the US twenty-two years ago at the age of 12.

As the daughter and wife of naturalized American citizens, I find this wholly offensive, although I suspect that had Keflezighi had the Scandinavian looks of my husband, there would be absolutely no qualification of his citizenry.

UPDATE: Rovell apologizes:

All I was saying was that we should celebrate an American marathon champion who has completely been brought up through the American system.

This is where, I must admit, my critics made their best point. It turns out, Keflezighi moved to the United States in time to develop at every level in America. So Meb is in fact an American trained athlete and an American citizen and he should be celebrated as the American winner of the NYC Marathon. That makes a difference and makes him different from the "ringer" I accused him of being. Meb didn't deserve that comparison and I apologize for that.

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