This week a momspeak back-fired in a big way on someone who was accustomed to the authoritative, final say it had always evoked ~ until now. It is every press secretary's worst nightmare: with unoriginal flair the press is calling it “Snipergate”; which unless you’ve been in a hole ~ you already know all about.
Basically, Hillary says she dodged bullets during her 1996 goodwill visit to
Apparently this is the season of headlining-style 'what were they thinking?!' missteps:
And of course, the ultimate Miss Misspeak whose colossal manglement of the language and concept of world geography we all marveled at, like such as - in a nice way.
Damage control now in furious full-swing, Hillary apologized for her “mistake”, added pretty casually it proves she “is human”, and claims she “misspoke”. (Clinton says she says “hundreds of thousands of words in a day”, and it could happen to anyone, you know.) As a last-ditch validation, she asserts she got it right in her book.
A lot of talking heads are very well versed on how Clinton might have been acting-out on her experience theme or other semi-logical suppositions...but I think Hillary is a little stunned her Clinton Aura has not catapulted her to a position of certain victory she had assumed it would long ago ~ this can explain her odd urge to fabricate swashbuckling drama. Ironically, the Bosnian trip was a great success. The truth was good enough!
Her campaign need not nanny-nanny-boo-boo blame the Bosnian film clip on Obama’s camp as another “personal” dig; the whole event did not happen in a vacuum and can hardly be considered personal when she said it and we can see it.
Another point that bugs me; her daughter was with her. Maybe it's just me, but - if I am dodging sniper bullets and running for my life, I’m pretty sure there would be no chance I would misremember that. If my little girl was also in danger, I know I would definitely remember exactly what happened every heart-racing, running step of the way.
But then, if I were Hillary, now might be a good time to remember how I went proud and loud to the public about a “right wing conspiracy” over “that woman”. She missed her mark in history way back then! When Bill finally quit trying to define the meaning of “it” and admitted he did ruin Monica’s dress, all of womanhood would have lauded her and given her Respect for Life if she had dumped him right then, in the White House.
But she didn’t. And our self-generated culture of political correctness has insinuated a far more innocent slant to telling a lie ~ we can dismiss it and better yet, we can understand it by demurely terming it a “misspeak”. It seems to be an easy out most of our politicians, CEO’s and people of influence rely on, a lot.
Why oh WHY do people who are smart, talented, articulate and like, totally advantaged - resort so easily to language that mocks the listener?
I did some research on the relatively recent popularity of misspeak. From an accreditation and continuing professional education course, I found an interesting tutorial in Communication Skills For Managers Fourth Edition (Sherberg $79.95). Here we are introduced to 'Weasel Words':
"It’s tempting to sneer at people who use weasel words-until we stop to realize that we all use them. It’s becoming rarer and rarer these days to read a newspaper or watch TV or listen to a speech without encountering words designed to cover up or distract or mislead. Inevitably, some of these words and phrases make their way into our vocabularies. Suddenly, without even thinking about it, we find ourselves talking about “misspeaking” when we mean “lying,” “limited success” when we mean “failure,” and “inventory shrinkage’’ when we mean “shoplifting.”
This is great stuff! There has got to be a lot of handy applications for weasel words most of us are mislooking. I'm human, too. I haven't tried counting how many words I say in a day, but there are too many things I have needlessly accepted full responsibility for with little to show for it.
I am planning on utilizing this socially accepted way to deceive and dupe just as soon as I decide which story suits my ego more; saving an orphan baby from a mad dog or a cheetah, or thwarting a terrorist attack on Rose Lane School at Kindergarten dismissal time. If the crossing guard, school bus drivers, parents, school staff and the cheetah contradict my claim, I can shrug it off and say, “Oopsie! I guess you got me. I misspoke.” You'll understand, right?
* Credits & Disclaimers:
Amazing cheetah reference credited to 13 yr. old Rachel E. Tanner
This blog was not Hillary bashing. A lot of other unbelievable goof-ups were matter-of-factly acknowledged.