Friday, April 11, 2008

The Misspoke Defense

Lately, the term "misspoke" is being used as an excuse for every calculated political lie and jab out on this year's campaign trail. When caught or embarrassed by what they said, the politician simply says "I misspoke" and, then, expects full and complete absolution. Hillary said she "misspoke" when she told that blatant lie about her situation when she visited Bosnia. Recently, Senator Jay Rockefeller said he "misspoke" when he claimed that John McCain "dropped bombs from 30,000 feet" onto people and, effectively, didn't care what happened after that.

So there is no confusion, the primary definition of the word "misspoke" is: To speak, utter, or pronounce incorrectly.

Typically, someone "misspoke" when they accidentally said a wrong word or the wrong name of something. Probably, the most common example of this is when someone says "good morning" when they really meant to say "good evening". Not until this year did politicians actually decide to redefine the word "misspoke" by including whole oratories in the form of lengthy commentaries or stories like Hillary's death defying trip into Bosnia.

Who are these people kidding? Hillary read from a teleprompter script when she told her Bosnia story. Jay Rockefeller gave a lengthy dissertation about McCain that he obviously thought about; long before he actually said it. It was a narrative and not just a flub of a word or two.

What next? A whole book? Then, when author gets sued or called on it, he or she can just say: "I am sorry. I misspoke!"

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