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Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Misspeaking Misspeakers and the Misspoken Misspeaks They Misspoke

After reading the following on David Brock's excellent new site "Media Matters", it occurred to me that Chavez's comments represented a larger trend.

Appearing on Al Franken's radio show on May 4, FOX News contributor Linda Chavez admitted that she "misspoke" when she denied having called Senator John Kerry a "communist apologist." Chavez denied having called Kerry a "communist apologist" during an interview on FOX & Friends on May 2, just four days after her nationally syndicated column calling Senator John Kerry a "communist apologist" appeared in newspapers and on The Heritage Foundation's website Chavez appeared on The O'Franken Factor in response to a May 3 Media Matters for America report titled "FOX's Chavez called Kerry a 'communist apologist' -- and then lied about it."

Chavez quickly sought to turn her own admission into yet another attack on Kerry and on former President Bill Clinton. Then she denounced liberal "name-calling" ...


A Dogpile search (right column) confirmed my suspicion: just as "red is the new black" in the fashion world, "misspoke" is the new "lied" in the neocon lexicon.

Cheney + "Misspoke": 77 hits

ex: "We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons," Cheney said March 16 on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Since making the allegation, the administration has turned up no nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, nor has it been able to produce any hard evidence that Saddam even reconstituted a nuclear weapons program.

"Meet the Press" host Tim Russert gave Cheney a chance to clarify his prewar statement in a return appearance on his show Sunday.

"'Reconstituted nuclear weapons.' You misspoke?" Russert asked.

"Yeah, I did misspeak .... We never had any evidence that he had acquired a nuclear weapon," said Cheney, known for his careful choice of words.


Wolfowitz + Misspoke: 114 hits

ex: Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, testifying Thursday before a congressional committee, drastically underestimated the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq since the war began.

"It's approximately 500, of which -- I can get the exact numbers -- approximately 350 are combat deaths," said Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the war.

According to the Pentagon, 724 U.S. troops had died in Iraq as of Thursday morning. Of those, 522 were combat deaths. That figure does not include U.S. civilian casualties.

"He misspoke," Wolfowitz spokesman Charley Cooper said later. "We're correcting the record."


Bush + "Misspoke": 100 hits

ex:President Bush on Wednesday defended his use of prewar intelligence on Iraq, saying he is "absolutely confident" in his actions despite the discovery that one claim he made about Saddam Hussein's weapons pursuits was based on false information.

Democrats have argued that the White House's acknowledgment that Bush misspoke earlier this year when he said Saddam tried to buy uranium in Africa justifies a broad review of how the administration used prewar intelligence on Iraq.


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