Thursday, August 28, 2003


Is it okay for news media to ignore verbal gaffes?

Yesterday, as reported in the Chron, Arnold S. called into the Sean Hannity show and ran through a list of his positions. Some blogs have reported and I tuned in to hear for myself that while talking about Gay Marriage, Arnold said, "I think gay marriage should be between a man and a woman" (italics are mine). Now this is an obvious slip of the tounge, and in the age of George W. Bush, it must be tough for the media to have to edit for grammar as well as content when the president talks off the cuff. However, as Bob Somersby has pointed out on The Daily Howler, Al Gore did not get the same help from the press.

The James Lee Witt case is an excellent example that Bob has discussed recently. Gore had visited, I think the number was 17, disaster sites in the company of Mr. Witt, and he had visited this one Texas site with an assistant to Mr. Witt. But when he said he visited that one site with Witt he was branded a liar. I have no plan to take on the Howler's territory here, since Bob does such a good job of it, but I read the wire story on Salon, the Chron article sited above, and heard the story in the news update on my morning station, KFOG, and not one of them mentioned the verbal slip. All of these outlets would be termed part of the so called liberal media, and all of them turned their respective and metaphorical heads aside.

Honestly, when it is an obvious slip of the tounge, I don't have a major problem with this, but I do think the playing field has not been level in this area, and there have been times when GWB speaks that his dislocution could show that he does not have a grasp of the facts (or for that matter reality) and should be reported as said and not edited for what a news outlet thinks he meant. Should the people know if their leaders can not be relied on to speak coherently and intelligently in an impromptu situation?

Just asking.

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