Archive for May, 2005

Tomorrow’s Spinspeak Today Direct from the Senate

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005

Forecasting is a slippery enterprise. But, in the case of the Great Senate Filibuster Compromise, the following forecast of new spinspeak in our future looks safe indeed:

advice (as in advise and consent) = angry ultimatums to the President on judges the liberal left finds politically objectionable.

extraordinary circumstances = hypertalk for any judge that the President has the effrontery to nominate (as he alone is empowered to do by the Constitution) even though the liberal left Senate minority told him they didn’t find that judge to their liking.

comity = the wonderful gooeytalk relationship that the Republican Majority destroys when it fends off attempts by the comity-loving Democratic Minority to push it into the nearest swamp.

Ask Howard: That’s Not Abortion! It’s a Health Care Decision

Sunday, May 22nd, 2005

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean is trying to spin words like “abortion” and “choice” out of the Democratic Party vocabulary.

Dean said flatly on NBC-TV’s “Meet the Press” without even winking that the Democratic Party is not in favor of women having abortions or even a proponent of something called “choice.”

In fact, he said (and lightening did not strike) “I don’t know anybody who thinks abortion is a good thing.”

Dean said he simply believes “a woman has a right to make up her own mind about what kind of health care she gets.” Presumably, one day a woman decides that a couple of aspirin will do the trick; the following week, she goes for something else. Who’s talking about abortion?.

Get it: there is no abortion issue. It’s all about “health care.”

“We’d like to make abortion rare,” Dean said and then went for the Golden Spin Award of the Month by asking:

“Do you know that abortions have gone up 25 percent since George Bush was president?”

The ol’ “Cry Fire in a Crowded Theater” Spin, or Down Periscope at NEWSWEEK

Tuesday, May 17th, 2005

We upholders of professopnal, objective journalism (no spindocs on our staff) did it because we were told by anonymous “knowledgeable” reliable sources that there was a fire.

Well, it was only one source. But we checked it out with two others.

Well, one said a peripheral part of the story was wrong, but didn’t “dispute” the rest; the third “corroborative” source had no comment.

Well, since the Fire Department insists it can’t find any fire and our main source now says: hey, maybe the fire was in another building maybe; there seems to be a lot of brouhaha.

So, in view of this “understandable” situation, we regret that we got “any part of our fire warning wrong.” And we “extend our sympathies to victims” of the stampede from the theater which we frankly were amazed to see occur.

And now, in view of the testy attitude of Fire Department officials, we retract what we did. So, let’s put it behind us, OK?

Note: It is worth mentioning that some people in the media (not us because we apologized and retracted) think that what we did was really in the tradition of great investigative journalism and that even though the facts were phony they are probably true.

You Must Add Speed To Make Apologies Really "Sincere"

Tuesday, May 10th, 2005

Spindocs are having a problem with “apology.”

The Spinspeak II dictionary definition for apology is a vacuumtalk figleaf that shows how compassionate you are and makes everything OK but involves no personal penalty or inconvenience.

Originally, such corrupted “apologies” usually were issued long after commission of the original outrage which they were to excuse. However, that no longer has much effect because of the blows of ever more devastating responses and reactions.

Accordingly, to reinvigorate the “sincerity” of a non-apology apology, it must be issued almost immediately post-outrage, possibly even in the next sentence. Only then can you get even the simpleminded to believe that, as you said, your opponent is a child molester but you are so compassionate that you are really, really sorry that you said it in public; or still better, you are really sorry that some witnsesses thought they heard you say it.

The most current example, of course, is provided by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. He told some high school students when asked about his thoughts on President Bush’s policies: “I think this guy is a loser.” Shortly afterward, Reid, believed to be the greatest statesman to come out of Spotlight, NV, called the White House and asked presidential adviser Karl Rove to tell the President, who apparently was unavailable, that he apologized. Meantime, the Republican National Committee called Reid’s statement “a sad development but not surprising from the leader of a party devoid of optimism, ideas or solutions…” It was hard to determine from photo finish news reports whether the rejoinder or the apology came first.

Accordingly, for truly effective spin, an apology by definition now will include a timeline demonstrating how close the apology followed the outrage. For example: “Yes, in my speech I called the Vice President an unhung liar and a thieving swine; but please note that, although someone on my staff had already released the text of my speech to the press and it was unfortunately on the TV newscasts, I ad libbed an apology as soon as those words came out of my mouth.”

New Products from the Spinspeak Mills

Friday, May 6th, 2005

Seven new spinspeak definitions for corrupted words and phrases currently befogging public discourse:

garden bunny = politically correct libtalk for Easter bunny that hops in an America where state and church are separated and the churches are preferably closed; assuages the sensitivities of the same delicate scolds who now erect “holiday trees” and hate seeing copies of the Ten Commandments on government property.

weapon = Pentagontalk for nuclear bomb. When one worries about the mullahs having weapons, one is not talking about scimitars.

retirement age = rubbertalk for what once was a fixed time of life. If asked, most Americans in the 20th Century at least would define retirement age as 65, an age established finally by law in the 1930’s when the New Deal generously promised everyone a Social Security pension at that age knowing that most people didn’t live that long.

insurgent = blame-America first and anti-Semitic libtalk for terrorists who blow up women, children and the elderly at random.

independent = political cosmeticspeak for the generally threadbare moderate label used to define the center, a position usually located somewhat more or less left of the mushy middle of the road.

heteronormative = bad mouth technogook for men and women who opt for heterosexual relations, strictly male/female marriages, creating children and raising them — all allegedly as an affront to homosexual and transgender special interest groups.

scattering = funeral industry cosmeticspeak for sprinkling mother’s ashen remains over her favorite beach, country road or mall parking lot.

>Kisses from Spotlight

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005

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Not too many years ago the gutter phrase “wet kiss” might or might not have signaled a welcome event for its recipient.

Not so any longer according to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) who says that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s judicial filibuster compromise is “a big wet kiss to the far right.” The implication is clearly that “the far right” (undefined) will be delighted to engage in what teenage boys in once private male locker rooms referred to as “spit swapping.”

In the Dark Days of the mid-20th Century before MTV this phrase was absolutely regarded as gutter language and even today it is hard to find it in dictionaries. Sen. Reid, a self-described “small town boy” from Spotlight, Nevada (pop. 2000), possibly picked up the phrase while dining at one of Spotlight’s principal attractions, the Nugget Casino and Restaurant, a short run down Route 95 according to the Internet from the Wild Cat Ranch, one of Nevada’s numerous legal bordellos.